Metastable H3+ formation and decay in the reaction of highly excited H2+ with H2

Jay K. Badenhoop*, George C Schatz, Charles W. Eaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper presents the detailed results of a quasiclassical trajectory surface hopping study of reaction of highly vibrationally excited H 2+ with ground state H2 (and isotopic counterparts H2+ + D2, D2 + + H2, and D2+ + D2 ), with particular emphasis on the formation and decay of metastable H 3+ products. A diatomics-in-molecules surface is used which has been successful in previous studies of H2+ (v) + H2 at low v. In the present study, we consider v = 0-17, and find that metastable H3+'s are a major product for v≥13. Some of these metastables decay rapidly, showing exponential lifetime distributions with 2-7 ps lifetimes depending on v and on isotope. The remaining H3+'s have much longer lifetimes, and a number of methods are used to determine the origin of their stability. In no cases are any of these molecules found to be quasiperiodic, but a Fourier spectral analysis reveals some decoupling of H+ -H2 orbital motion from H2 rotational motion, and we find that many molecules have long lifetimes even though they have energies which are above any rigorous centrifugal barrier. The relation of these results to recent infrared absorption measurements on highly excited H3+'s is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5317-5324
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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