The journal of physical chemistry. A

Photoinduced isomerization kinetics of diiodomethane in supercritical fluid solution: local density effects.

PMID 16509658


The density dependence of diiodomethane photoinduced isomerization in supercritical (sc) CO2, CHF3, and C2H6 was investigated by transient absorption spectroscopy, covering a fluid density range from 0.7 to 2.5 (in reduced units). The solvent-caged photoproduct iso-diiodomethane is formed even at the lowest density, and its yield increases about 4-fold over the whole range. At the same time, isomer formation rate constants increase by roughly an order of magnitude and show little variation between CO2, C2H6, and CHF3. Furthermore, the formation rate constant decreases significantly with increasing excitation energy. We propose an isomer formation mechanism involving a rapidly established preequilibrium between a solvent-caged iodine atom-methyliodide radical pair and a loosely bound iodine-methyliodide radical complex, from which the reaction subsequently proceeds to the isomer. The latter step seems to be controlled by collisional stabilization of the initially hot radical moiety, as the formation rate constant increases linearly with sc solvent viscosity. The model predicts a quadratic dependence of relative isomer yield on fluid density. A corresponding correlation is found with the local fluid density, calculated via solute-solvent radial distribution functions obtained from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.

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