Isomerization of cyanopropyne in solid argon
Cyanopropyne, CH3–CC–CN, is a simple molecule whose photochemistry is still unexplored. Here we investigate the UV photolysis of this astrophysically significant nitrile trapped in solid argon. The FTIR study was assisted with 15N-isotopic substitution data and with DFT-level computations including the analyses of ground- and excited-state potential energy surfaces. Cyanopropyne was found to decay mainly via a two-step isomerization process. Infrared absorption spectra evolved to show signals from allenyl cyanide, CH2CCH–CN, which then further convert into propargyl cyanide, H–CC–CH2–CN. Some evidence for the presence of allenyl isocyanide, propargyl isocyanide, 3-cyanocyclopropene, and 1,2,3-butatrien-1-imine under particular experimental conditions was also observed. Although cyano/isocyano interconversion has been observed during photolysis of other closely related species in solid argon matrices, including H–CC–CN, no evidence could be found for production of 1-isocyano-1-propyne, CH3–CC–NC for these experiments.