Indexed on: 03 Oct '13Published on: 03 Oct '13Published in: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
State-to-state differential cross sections are reported for rotationally inelastic scattering of fully state-selected ND3 (j(k)(±) = 1(1)(-)) with He. Experimental measurements are compared with full close-coupling quantum-mechanical scattering calculations that used an ab initio potential energy surface. Results are presented for final states up to j'(k')(±) = 7(7)(-) at a mean collision energy of 430 cm(-1). For selected final quantum states, the effect of collision energy on the differential cross sections is also explored in the range 230-720 cm(-1). For the experimental studies, a hexapole electrostatic lens was used for the j(k)(±) state-selection of ND3 molecules in their electronic and vibrational ground states in a molecular beam. This state-selected molecular beam was then crossed with a beam of He atoms. The velocities of inelastically scattered ND3 molecules in single j'(k')(±) states were obtained by velocity map imaging, and converted to differential cross sections in the centre-of-mass frame by density-to-flux transformation. The close-coupling calculations reproduce well the measured angular distributions. For small changes in the rotational angular momentum quantum number (j), the ND3 is predominantly forward scattered, but the scattering shifts to the sideways and backward directions as Δj increases. For scattering into a given j'(k')(±) state, cross-sections for collisions that conserve the ± symmetry associated with the ND3 inversion vibration are larger and generally more forward scattered than the corresponding symmetry-changing processes.