A theoretical study of the mechanism of photodecomposition in carbonyl cyanide, diethynyl ketone, acetyl cyanide and formyl cyanide has been conducted using density functional and MP2 theories. A complete analysis of the electronic spectra of these molecules in terms of nature, energy and intensity of electronic transitions has been provided by time-dependent density functional theory. Mixing coefficients and main configurations of the electronic states have been used to identify the states leading to the photodecomposition process. While the Rydberg state 1(n,3s) is involved in the dissociation of formyl cyanide and acetyl cyanide, the π*CC/π*CN states are involved in the case of carbonyl cyanide and diethynyl ketone. In all cases, however, stepwise decomposition process is preferred over the concerted reaction process. Based on potential energy curves for bond dissociation and the transition state and IRC studies, it is found that besides the direct dissociation of carbonyl cyanide, a photoisomerization process through a non-planar transition state may also occur resulting in the formation of a stable and planar isomer CNC(O)CN. A complete vibrational analysis of the higher energy isomer has been conducted and several new fundamental bands are predicted. Some of the earlier experimental results on the photodecomposition mechanism and energies of photofragments in carbonyl cyanide and acetyl cyanide have been rationalized.
Volume 94, 2020
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