Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

A signature of roaming dynamics in the thermal decomposition of ethyl nitrite: Chirped-pulse rotational spectroscopy and kinetic modeling

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Chirped-pulse (CP) Fourier transform rotational spectroscopy is uniquely suited for near-universal quantitative detection and structural characterization of mixtures that contain multiple molecular and radical species. In this work, we employ CP spectroscopy to measure product branching and extract information about the reaction mechanism, guided by kinetic modeling. Pyrolysis of ethyl nitrite, CH3CH2ONO, is studied in a Chen type flash pyrolysis reactor at temperatures of 1000-1800 K. The branching between HNO, CH2O, and CH3CHO products is measured and compared to the kinetic models generated by the Reaction Mechanism Generator software. We find that roaming CH3CH2ONO → CH3CHO + HNO plays an important role in the thermal decomposition of ethyl nitrite, with its rate, at 1000 K, comparable to that of the radical elimination channel CH3CH2ONO → CH3CH2O + NO. HNO is a signature of roaming in this system. (Graph Presented).