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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences

First Advisor

Balint Sztaray

First Committee Member

Anthony Dutoi

Second Committee Member

James Hetrick

Third Committee Member

Jianhua Ren

Fourth Committee Member

Silvio Rodriguez


Five projects are presented here that use Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence (PEPICO) Spectroscopy to determine high-accuracy thermochemical data on small and intermediate size molecules and radicals that are relevant in modeling combustion and atmospheric processes. Some of the experiments were carried out on the laboratory-based Threshold PEPICO (TPEPICO) apparatus which has the advantage of having a low-temperature inlet system and unlimited measurement time, while most of the projects involved the use of the Imaging PEPICO (iPEPICO) apparatus at the Swiss Light Source, which is capable to determine ionic dissociation energies to sub-kJ/mol accuracy. The iPEPICO on the synchrotron beamline was also useful where measurements required energies in excess of 14 eV. The modeling framework of PEPICO is based on the RRKM statistical theory of dissociation kinetics and statistical energy distributions and models complex dissociation pathways to extract both kinetics and thermochemical data from the experiment. In the first project, we measured the onsets of Br- and I-loss reactions for C 2 H 5 Br and C 2 H 5 I using TPEPICO, respectively. The heats of formations of the two molecules are related through the ethyl cation, which was used in their determination. The second project involved measuring Cl-loss from four S i O j Cl k compounds viz. SCl 2 , S 2 Cl 2 , SOCl 2 , and SO 2 Cl 2 to obtain reliable thermochemistry. The second Cl-loss from S 2 Cl 2 + and SOCl 2 + helped us conclude that assuming three-dimensional translational degrees of freedom yields a more reliable statistical model of product-energy distributions. The third project investigated methanol and its isotopologues to explore the dissociation pathways through the H/D-losses. The 0 K appearance energies were used to determine the accurate heat of formation of CH 2 OH and the proton affinity of formaldehyde. The fourth project explores the dissociation pathways of cis -1-bromopropene, trans -1-bromopropene, 2-bromopropene, 3-bromopropene and bromocyclopropane to find that except for 2-bromopropene, all other isomers dissociate into the allyl cation. To derive accurate thermochemical information on the neutral precursors, a mixed theoretical and experimental thermochemical network was used to determine their 0 K heats of formation. The last project involves measurements on dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) and dimethyl diselenide, which are the simplest models that can be used to study disulfide and diselenide linkages. There are several discrepancies in the thermochemistry of DMDS, whereas ours is the first experimental attempt to study the ionic thermochemistry of dimethyl diselenide experimentally.





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