Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Electron attachment to the interhalogen compounds ClF, ICl, and IBr

Justin P. Wiens, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Jordan C. Sawyer, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Thomas M. Miller, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Nicholas S. Shuman, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Albert A. Viggiano, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Marjan Khamesian, University of Central Florida
Viatcheslav Kokoouline, University of Central Florida
Ilya I. Fabrikant, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

©2016 American Physical Society


Thermal electron attachment rate coefficients for three interhalogen compounds (CIF, ICI, IBr) have been measured from 300 to 900 K at pressures of 1–2 Torr using a flowing afterglow–Langmuir probe apparatus. CIF attaches somewhat inefficiently (k = 7.5×109 cm3 s1) at 300 K, with the rate coefficient rising to 1.7×108 cm3 s1 at 700 K. At higher temperatures the apparent rate coefficient falls steeply; however, this is interpreted as an artifact due to decomposition on the walls of the inlet line. ICI attaches with even lower efficiency (k = 9.5×1010 cm3 s1 at 300 K) and a less steep increase with temperature. Attachment to IBr is too slow to confidently measure with the present experiment, with an upper limit on the rate coefficient of 1010 cm3 s1 from 300 to 600 K. Both ClF and ICl attach dissociatively to yield CI−, likely exclusively, though F− or I− may be produced with limits of <2% and <5%, respectively. The CIF attachment was further explored through ab initio calculation of the CIF and CIF− potential energy curves and R-matrix calculations of the resonance parameters which were used then for calculations of the dissociative attachment cross sections and rate coefficients. While the magnitude of the attachment rate coefficient for CIF is similar to those for both CI2 and F2, the calculated cross sections show qualitatively different threshold behavior due to the s-wave contribution allowed by the lack of inversion symmetry. The v = 1 and 2 vibrational modes of CIF attach about three to four times faster than v = 0 and 3 at energies lower than ∼0.2 eV. The calculated rate coefficients are in good agreement with the experiment at 300 K and increase moderately less steeply with temperature.