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This content will become publicly available on April 14, 2017

Title: The origin of unequal bond lengths in the C1B2 state of SO2: Signatures of high-lying potential energy surface crossings in the low-lying vibrational structure

Here the C1B2 state of SO2 has a double-minimum potential in the antisymmetric stretch coordinate, such that the minimum energy geometry has nonequivalent SO bond lengths. The asymmetry in the potential energy surface is expressed as a staggering in the energy levels of the v'3 progression. We have recently made the first observation of low-lying levels with odd quanta of v'3, which allows us--in the current work--to characterize the origins of the level staggering. Our work demonstrates the usefulness of low-lying vibrational level structure, where the character of the wavefunctions can be relatively easily understood, to extract information about dynamically important potential energy surface crossings that occur at much higher energy. The measured staggering pattern is consistent with a vibronic coupling model for the double-minimum, which involves direct coupling to the bound 2 1A1 state and indirect coupling with the repulsive 3 1A1 state. The degree of staggering in the v'3 levels increases with quanta of bending excitation, which is consistent with the approach along the C state potential energy surface to a conical intersection with the 2 1A1 surface at a bond angle of ~145°.
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  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 144; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9606
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country of Publication:
United States
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS SO2; sulfur dioxide; pseudo Jahn-Teller; vibronic interaction; potential energy surfaces; dissociation; oscillators; electroluminescence