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Theoretical Study of the Stereodynamics of CO Collisions with CH3- and CF3-Terminated Alkanethiolate Self-Assembled Monolayers

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posted on 23.04.2009 by William A. Alexander, John R. Morris, Diego Troya
We present a classical-trajectory study of CO collisions with regular (CH3-terminated) and ω-fluorinated (CF3-terminated) alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with a focus on analyzing the stereodynamics properties of the collision. The CO molecule is scattered with incident angles of either 30° or 60° with respect to the surface normal and with 60 kJ·mol−1 collision energy, and we analyze final translational and rotational energy, mechanism of the collisions, and orientation and alignment of the rotational angular momentum. Analysis of the alignment of the final rotational angular momentum in collisions involving initially rotationally cold CO indicates a slight preference for “cartwheel” and “corkscrew” rotational motions. In contrast, collisions of initially excited CO slightly favor “helicopter” motion of the recoiling molecule. Moreover, studies of final orientation reveal that, while cartwheel “topspin” motion is favored for collisions in which initially cold CO becomes rotationally excited, no preferred handedness is observed when CO leaves the surfaces with “helicopter” motion. Analysis of trajectories involving initially rotationally excited CO in which the initial rotational angular momentum is aligned and/or oriented shows a non-negligible effect of the initial rotational motion on the dynamics of energy transfer. For instance, CO approaching the SAMs with helicopter motion retains a larger fraction of its initial rotation than molecules colliding with cartwheel-type motions. Conservation of the alignment and orientation of the initial rotational angular momentum vector is also enhanced with helicopter motion relative to cartwheel or random motions. The calculated trends in the stereodynamic properties for the two SAMs indicate that the CH3-SAM is effectively more corrugated than the CF3-SAM.