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Photooxidation of Trimethyl Phosphite in Nitrogen, Oxygen, and para-Hydrogen Matrixes at Low Temperatures

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journal contribution
posted on 24.02.2017, 00:00 by N. Ramanathan, K. Sundararajan, R. Gopi, K. Sankaran
Trimethyl phosphite (TMPhite) was photooxidized to trimethyl phosphate (TMP) in N2, O2, and para-H2 matrixes at low temperatures to correlate the conformational landscape of these two molecules. The photooxidation produced the trans (TGG)-rich conformer with respect to the ground state gauche (GGG) conformer of TMP in N2 and O2 matrixes, which has diverged from the conformational composition of freshly deposited pure TMP in the low-temperature matrixes. The enrichment of the trans conformer in preference to the gauche conformer of TMP during photooxidation is due to the TMPhite precursor, which exists exclusively in the trans conformer. Interestingly, whereas the photooxidized TMP molecule suffers site effects possibly due to the local asymmetry in N2 and O2 matrixes, in the para-H2 matrix owing to the quantum crystal nature the site effects were observed to be self-repaired.