Strong non-Arrhenius behavior at low temperatures in the OH + HCl → H2O + Cl reaction due to resonance induced quantum tunneling†
The OH + HCl → H2O + Cl reaction releases Cl atoms, which can catalyze the ozone destruction reaction in the stratosphere. The measured rate coefficients for the reaction deviate substantially from the Arrhenius limit at low temperatures and become essentially independent of temperature when T < 250 K, apparently due to quantum tunneling; however, the nature of the quantum tunneling is unknown. Here, we report a time-dependent wave packet study of the reactions on two newly constructed potential energy surfaces. It is found that the OH + HCl reaction possesses many Feshbach resonances trapped in a bending/torsion excited vibrational adiabatic potential well in the entrance channel due to hydrogen bond interaction. These resonance states greatly induce quantum tunneling of a hydrogen atom through the reaction barrier, causing the reaction rates to deviate substantially from Arrhenius behavior at low temperature, as observed experimentally.