Femtosecond predissociation dynamics of the methyl radical from the 3pz Rydberg state
The real time dynamics of electronic predissociation of the CH3 radical (and its deuterated variant CD3) from selected vibrational states of the 3pz Rydberg state have been measured for the first time using a novel methodology based on a femtosecond three-color experiment to generate, two-photon excite and ionize methyl radicals as a function of time in combination with velocity map imaging detection. Subpicosecond lifetimes have been measured, showing a decreasing trend as vibrational excitation in the symmetric stretch and bending umbrella modes increases for both species. High-level ab initio calculations have been carried out in order to elucidate the CH3 3pz predissociation mechanism and support the lifetime measurements. The observed lifetimes are relevant for the understanding of the resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization spectroscopy of this radical.