Reactive and inelastic collisions of H atoms with vibrationally excited water molecules

G. Lendvay*, K. S. Bradley, G. C. Schatz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The dynamics of the collisions of H atoms with vibrationally excited H2O were studied using classical mechanical reactive and quantum mechanical nonreactive scattering calculations. The classical trajectory calculations were performed with the 15 potential surface of Isaacson. These results show the expected behavior for an endoergic reaction with a late barrier, with the cross section exhibiting a high threshold when the water is unexcited, and a much lower threshold if the asymmetric stretch of water is highly excited. Qualitatively this matches experimental results, although the threshold energy for reaction of water in the ground vibrational state is too low to reproduce the measured rate coefficients. The rate coefficient is higher than for ground state water by six orders of magnitude when the asymmetric stretch mode is excited by four quanta. However the rate for reaction from this excited state is still two orders of magnitude smaller than the total reactive+inelastic rate coefficient obtained in recent measurements by Smith and co-workers. Quantum scattering calculations of the vibrational energy transfer rate coefficients show that the pure stretch excited states can have very high deactivation rate coefficients, resulting from transitions to states that are separated by a small energy gap (<50 cm-1) from the initial state. The calculated rate coefficients for reactive+inelastic transitions are therefore dominated by inelastic scattering, and the results we obtain are in good agreement with the Smith data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2963-2970
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number2-12
StatePublished - Feb 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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