Crossed beams and theoretical studies of the dynamics of hyperthermal collisions between Ar and ethane

Amy L. Brunsvold, Donna J. Garton, Timothy K. Minton*, Diego Troya, George C. Schatz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Crossed molecular beams experiments and classical trajectory calculations have been used to study the dynamics of Ar+ethane collisions at hyperthermal collision energies. Experimental time-of-flight and angular distributions of ethane molecules that scatter into the backward hemisphere (with respect to their original direction in the center-of-mass frame) have been collected. Translational energy distributions, derived from the time-of-flight distributions, reveal that a substantial fraction of the collisions transfer abnormally large amounts of energy to internal excitation of ethane. The flux of the scattered ethane molecules increased only slightly from directly backward scattering to sideways scattering. Theoretical calculations show angular and translational energy distributions which are in reasonable agreement with the experimental results. These calculations have been used to examine the microscopic mechanism for large energy transfer collisions (" supercollisions"). Collinear ("head-on") or perpendicular ("side-on") approaches of Ar to the C-C axis of ethane do not promote energy transfer as much as bent approaches, and collisions in which the H atom is "sandwiched" in a bent Ar...H-C configuration lead to the largest energy transfer. The sensitivity of collisional energy transfer to the intramolecular potential energy of ethane has also been examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
Pages (from-to)11702-11714
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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