Dr. David T. Anderson
Recent experiments in the Anderson group have shown that the reaction of hydrogen atoms (H) with nitric oxide (NO) at extreme low temperatures (<5 K) can produce both HNO and NOH. This is surprising because the reaction to form HNO is barrierless, whereas the reaction that forms NOH has a significant barrier. The fact that NOH is produced in these low temperature reactions is due to quantum mechanical tunneling effects and the fact that the NO molecule is freely rotating. I am helping analyze the Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra that are used to follow the kinetics (how fast reactions occur) of these reactions, but specifically in the region where the NO molecule absorbs. I am also analyzing the FTIR spectra of different isotopes of nitric oxide (14NO and 15NO) to better characterize the rotational dynamics of the NO reagent. In the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, both of these isotopes of NO should react similarly at low temperature and based on my research it appears that this is true.
Hurley, Manford Earl, "Reactions of Atomic Hydrogen with Isotopes of Nitric Oxide in Solid Parahydrogen" (2016). Honors Theses AY 15/16. 45.