Investigation of nonadiabatic dynamics in the photolysis of methyl nitrate (CH3ONO2) by on-the-fly surface hopping simulation†
The photolysis mechanism of methyl nitrate (CH3ONO2) was studied using the on-the-fly surface hopping dynamics at the XMS-CASPT2 level. Several critical geometries, including electronic state minima and conical intersections, were obtained, which play essential roles in the nonadiabatic dynamics of CH3ONO2. The ultrafast nonadiabatic decay dynamics to the ground state were simulated, which gives a proper explanation on the broad and structureless absorption spectra of CH3ONO2. The photodissociation channels, including CH3O + NO2, CH3O + NO + O, and others, as well as their branching ratios, were identified. When the dynamics starts from the lowest two electronic states (S1 and S2), the CH3O + NO2 channel is the dominant photolysis pathway, although we observed the minor contributions of other channels. In contrast, when the trajectories start from the third excited state S3, both CH3O + NO2 and CH3O + NO + O channels become important. Here the CH3O–NO2 bond dissociation takes place first, and then for some trajectories, the N–O bond of the NO2 part breaks successively. The quasi-degeneracy of electronic states may exist in the dissociation limits of both CH3O + NO2 and CH3O + NO + O channels. The current work provides valuable information in the understanding of experimental findings of the wavelength-dependent photolysis mechanism of CH3ONO2.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Developments in Ultrafast Spectroscopy and 2021 PCCP HOT Articles