Issue 11, 2024

Ta+ and Nb+ + CO2: intersystem crossing in ion–molecule reactions


The reactions of Ta+ and Nb+ with CO2 proceed only by a highly efficient oxygen atom transfer reaction to the respective oxide at room temperature in the gas phase. Although the product spin states are not determined, thermochemistry dictates that they must be different from ground state quintet Ta+ and Nb+, implying that intersystem crossing (ISC) has occurred. Recent reactive scattering experiments found dominant indirect dynamics for the reaction with Ta+ hinting at a bottleneck along the reaction path. The question on the nature of the bottleneck, whether it involves a crossing point or a transition state, could not be finally answered because theory located both close to each other. Here, we aim at shedding further light onto the impact of intersystem crossing on the reaction dynamics and ultimately the reactivity of transition metal ion reactions in the gas phase. We employ a combination of thermal kinetics for Ta+ and Nb+ with CO2 using a selected-ion flow tube (SIFT) apparatus and differential scattering cross sections for Nb+ + CO2 from crossed-beam velocity map imaging. The reaction with niobium again shows dominant indirect dynamics and in general very similar dynamics compared to Ta+ + CO2. At thermal energies, both reactions show sub-collisional rate constants with small negative temperature dependencies. Experiments are complemented by high level quantum chemical calculations of the minimum energy pathway. Statistical modelling well-reproduces the experimental thermal rate constants, and suggests that the Nb+ reaction is rate-limited by the intersystem crossing at thermal energies.

Graphical abstract: Ta+ and Nb+ + CO2: intersystem crossing in ion–molecule reactions

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
15 Nov 2023
29 Jan 2024
First published
04 Mar 2024
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2024,26, 8670-8680

Ta+ and Nb+ + CO2: intersystem crossing in ion–molecule reactions

M. E. Huber, T. W. R. Lewis, M. Meta, S. G. Ard, Y. Liu, B. C. Sweeny, H. Guo, M. Ončák, N. S. Shuman and J. Meyer, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2024, 26, 8670 DOI: 10.1039/D3CP05549C

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