Direct frequency comb measurement of OD + CO → DOCO kinetics


New publication in Science

Combing through CO oxidation kinetics

Carbon monoxide reacts with OH radicals to produce CO2. This process is central to combustion and atmospheric oxidation chemistry. The reaction sequence is widely assumed to involve the intermediacy of a HOCO adduct that has eluded direct monitoring under thermal conditions. Bjork et al. successfully observed the formation of the deuterated analog of this intermediate, DOCO, while simultaneously monitoring OD by using a multifrequency infrared comb. The results confirm the termolecular nature of the formation mechanism and its sensitivity to the ambient bath gas.


The kinetics of the hydroxyl radical (OH) + carbon monoxide (CO) reaction, which is fundamental to both atmospheric and combustion chemistry, are complex because of the formation of the hydrocarboxyl radical (HOCO) intermediate. Despite extensive studies of this reaction, HOCO has not been observed under thermal reaction conditions. Exploiting the sensitive, broadband, and high-resolution capabilities of time-resolved cavity-enhanced direct frequency comb spectroscopy, we observed deuteroxyl radical (OD) + CO reaction kinetics and detected stabilized trans-DOCO, the deuterated analog of trans-HOCO. By simultaneously measuring the time-dependent concentrations of the trans-DOCO and OD species, we observed unambiguous low-pressure termolecular dependence of the reaction rate coefficients for N2 and CO bath gases. These results confirm the HOCO formation mechanism and quantify its yield.



Direct Frequency Comb Measurement of OD + CO -> DOCO Kinetics
B. J. Bjork, T. Q. Bui, O. H. Heckl, P. B. Changala, B. Spaun, P. Heu, D. Follman, C. Deutsch, G. D. Cole, M. Aspelmeyer, M. Okumura, J. Ye
Science Vol. 354, Issue 6311, pp. 444-448 (2016)