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Matrix isolation is an experimental technique used in chemistry and physics. It generally involves a material being trapped within an unreactive matrix. A host matrix is a continuous solid phase in which guest particles (atoms, molecules, ions, etc.) are embedded. The guest is said to be isolated within the host matrix. Initially the term matrix-isolation was used to describe the placing of a chemical species in any unreactive material, often polymers or resins, but more recently has referred specifically to gases in low-temperature solids. A typical matrix isolation experiment involves a guest sample being diluted in the gas phase with the host material, usually a noble gas or nitrogen. This mixture is then deposited on a window that is cooled to below the melting point of the host gas. The sample may then be studied using various spectroscopic procedures.
The transparent window, on to which the sample is deposited, is usually cooled using a compressed helium or similar refrigerant. Experiments must be performed under a high vacuum to prevent contaminants from unwanted gases freezing to the cold window. Lower temperatures are preferred, due to the improved rigidity and "glassiness" of the matrix material. Noble gases such as argon are used not just because of their unreactivity but also because of their broad optical transparency in the solid state. Mono-atomic gases have relatively simple face-centered cubic (fcc) crystal structure, which can make interpretations of the site occupancy and crystal-field splitting of the guest easier. In some cases a reactive material, for example, methane, hydrogen or ammonia, may be used as the host material so that the reaction of the host with the guest species may be studied.
Using the matrix isolation technique, short-lived, highly-reactive species such as radical ions and reaction intermediates may be observed and identified by spectroscopic means. For example, the solid noble gas krypton can be used to form an inert matrix within which a reactive F3− ion can sit in chemical isolation.The reactive species can either be generated outside (before deposition) the apparatus and then be condensed, inside the matrix (after deposition) by irradiating or heating a precursor, or by bringing together two reactants on the growing matrix surface. For the deposition of two species it can be crucial to control the contact time and temperature. In Twin Jet deposition the two species have a much shorter contact time (and lower temperature) than in Merged Jet. With Concentric Jet the contact time is adjustable.
Within the host matrix, the rotation and translation of the guest particle is usually inhibited. Therefore, the matrix isolation technique may be used to simulate a spectrum of a species in the gas phase without rotational and translational interference. The low temperatures also help to produce simpler spectra, since only the lower electronic and vibrational quantum states are populated.
Especially infrared spectroscopy, which is used to investigate molecular vibration, benefits from the matrix isolation technique. For example, in the gas-phase IR spectrum of fluoroethane some spectral regions are very difficult to interpret, as vibrational quantum states heavily overlap with multiple rotational-vibrational quantum states. When fluoroethane is isolated in argon or neon matrices at low temperatures, the rotation of the fluoroethane molecule is inhibited. Because rotational-vibrational quantum states are quenched in the matrix isolation IR spectrum of fluoroethane, all vibrational quantum states can be identified.This is especially useful for the validation of simulated infrared spectra that can be obtained from computational chemistry.
Matrix isolation has its origins in the first half of the 20th century with the experiments by photo-chemists and physicists freezing samples in liquefied gases. The earliest isolation experiments involved the freezing of species in transparent, low temperature organic glasses, such as EPA (ether/isopentane/ethanol 5:5:2). The modern matrix isolation technique was developed extensively during the 1950s, in particular by George C. Pimentel.He initially used higher-boiling inert gases like xenon and nitrogen as the host material, and is often said to be the "father of matrix isolation".
Laser vaporization in matrix isolation spectroscopy was first brought about in 1969 by Schaeffer and Pearson using a YAG laser to vaporize carbon which reacted with hydrogen to produce acetylene. They also showed that laser-vaporized boron would react with HCl to create BCl3. In the 1970s, Koerner von Gustorf's lab used the technique to produce free metal atoms which were then deposited with organic substrates for use in organometallic chemistry. Spectroscopic studies were done on reactive intermediates in around the early 1980s by Bell Labs. They used laser-induced fluorescence to characterize multiple molecules like SnBi and SiC2. Smalley's group employed the use of this method with time-of-flight mass spectrometry by analyzing Al clusters. With the work of chemists like these, laser-vaporization in matrix isolation spectroscopy rose in popularity due to its ability to generate transients involving metals, alloys and semi-conductor molecules and clusters.
Infrared spectroscopy involves the interaction of infrared radiation with matter. It covers a range of techniques, mostly based on absorption spectroscopy. As with all spectroscopic techniques, it can be used to identify and study chemical substances. Samples may be solid, liquid, or gas. The method or technique of infrared spectroscopy is conducted with an instrument called an infrared spectrometer to produce an infrared spectrum. An IR spectrum can be visualized in a graph of infrared light absorbance on the vertical axis vs. frequency or wavelength on the horizontal axis. Typical units of frequency used in IR spectra are reciprocal centimeters, with the symbol cm−1. Units of IR wavelength are commonly given in micrometers, symbol μm, which are related to wave numbers in a reciprocal way. A common laboratory instrument that uses this technique is a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Two-dimensional IR is also possible as discussed below.
Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. Historically, spectroscopy originated through the study of visible light dispersed according to its wavelength, by a prism. Later the concept was expanded greatly to include any interaction with radiative energy as a function of its wavelength or frequency, predominantly in the electromagnetic spectrum, although matter waves and acoustic waves can also be considered forms of radiative energy; recently, with tremendous difficulty, even gravitational waves have been associated with a spectral signature in the context of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and laser interferometry. Spectroscopic data are often represented by an emission spectrum, a plot of the response of interest, as a function of wavelength or frequency.
Theoretical chemistry is the branch of chemistry which develops theoretical generalizations that are part of the theoretical arsenal of modern chemistry: for example, the concepts of chemical bonding, chemical reaction, valence, the surface of potential energy, molecular orbitals, orbital interactions, molecule activation, etc.
Raman spectroscopy ; is a spectroscopic technique typically used to determine vibrational modes of molecules, although rotational and other low-frequency modes of systems may also be observed. Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in chemistry to provide a structural fingerprint by which molecules can be identified.
Absorption spectroscopy refers to spectroscopic techniques that measure the absorption of radiation, as a function of frequency or wavelength, due to its interaction with a sample. The sample absorbs energy, i.e., photons, from the radiating field. The intensity of the absorption varies as a function of frequency, and this variation is the absorption spectrum. Absorption spectroscopy is performed across the electromagnetic spectrum.
In physics and physical chemistry, time-resolved spectroscopy is the study of dynamic processes in materials or chemical compounds by means of spectroscopic techniques. Most often, processes are studied after the illumination of a material occurs, but in principle, the technique can be applied to any process that leads to a change in properties of a material. With the help of pulsed lasers, it is possible to study processes that occur on time scales as short as 10−16 seconds.
Rotational spectroscopy is concerned with the measurement of the energies of transitions between quantized rotational states of molecules in the gas phase. The spectra of polar molecules can be measured in absorption or emission by microwave spectroscopy or by far infrared spectroscopy. The rotational spectra of non-polar molecules cannot be observed by those methods, but can be observed and measured by Raman spectroscopy. Rotational spectroscopy is sometimes referred to as pure rotational spectroscopy to distinguish it from rotational-vibrational spectroscopy where changes in rotational energy occur together with changes in vibrational energy, and also from ro-vibronic spectroscopy where rotational, vibrational and electronic energy changes occur simultaneously.
Raman scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of photons by matter, meaning that there is an exchange of energy and a change in the light's direction. Typically this involves vibrational energy being gained by a molecule as incident photons from a visible laser are shifted to lower energy. This is called normal Stokes Raman scattering. The effect is exploited by chemists and physicists to gain information about materials for a variety of purposes by performing various forms of Raman spectroscopy. Many other variants of Raman spectroscopy allow rotational energy to be examined and electronic energy levels may be examined if an X-ray source is used in addition to other possibilities. More complex techniques involving pulsed lasers, multiple laser beams and so on are known.
Chemical physics is a subdiscipline of chemistry and physics that investigates physicochemical phenomena using techniques from atomic and molecular physics and condensed matter physics; it is the branch of physics that studies chemical processes from the point of view of physics. While at the interface of physics and chemistry, chemical physics is distinct from physical chemistry in that it focuses more on the characteristic elements and theories of physics. Meanwhile, physical chemistry studies the physical nature of chemistry. Nonetheless, the distinction between the two fields is vague, and scientists often practice in both fields during the course of their research.
Molecular geometry is the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms that constitute a molecule. It includes the general shape of the molecule as well as bond lengths, bond angles, torsional angles and any other geometrical parameters that determine the position of each atom.
The carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) was one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed. It was invented by Kumar Patel of Bell Labs in 1964, and is still one of the most useful. Carbon dioxide lasers are the highest-power continuous wave lasers that are currently available. They are also quite efficient: the ratio of output power to pump power can be as large as 20%. The CO2 laser produces a beam of infrared light with the principal wavelength bands centering on 9.4 and 10.6 micrometers (μm).
Resonance Raman spectroscopy is a Raman spectroscopy technique in which the incident photon energy is close in energy to an electronic transition of a compound or material under examination. The frequency coincidence can lead to greatly enhanced intensity of the Raman scattering, which facilitates the study of chemical compounds present at low concentrations.
According to quantum mechanics, atoms and molecules can only hold certain defined quantities of energy, or exist in specific states. When such quanta of electromagnetic radiation are emitted or absorbed by an atom or molecule, energy of the radiation changes the state of the atom or molecule from an initial state to a final state. An absorption band is a range of wavelengths, frequencies or energies in the electromagnetic spectrum which are characteristic of a particular transition from initial to final state in a substance.
Chemical imaging is the analytical capability to create a visual image of components distribution from simultaneous measurement of spectra and spatial, time information. Hyperspectral imaging measures contiguous spectral bands, as opposed to multispectral imaging which measures spaced spectral bands.
A van der Waals molecule is a weakly bound complex of atoms or molecules held together by intermolecular attractions such as van der Waals forces or by hydrogen bonds. The name originated in the beginning of the 1970s when stable molecular clusters were regularly observed in molecular beam microwave spectroscopy.
Physical organic chemistry, a term coined by Louis Hammett in 1940, refers to a discipline of organic chemistry that focuses on the relationship between chemical structures and reactivity, in particular, applying experimental tools of physical chemistry to the study of organic molecules. Specific focal points of study include the rates of organic reactions, the relative chemical stabilities of the starting materials, reactive intermediates, transition states, and products of chemical reactions, and non-covalent aspects of solvation and molecular interactions that influence chemical reactivity. Such studies provide theoretical and practical frameworks to understand how changes in structure in solution or solid-state contexts impact reaction mechanism and rate for each organic reaction of interest.
Zinc hydride is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula ZnH2. It is a white, odourless solid which slowly decomposes into its elements at room temperature; despite this it is the most stable of the binary first row transition metal hydrides. A variety of coordination compounds containing Zn-H bonds are used as reducing agents, however ZnH2 itself has no common applications.
William A. Klemperer (October 6, 1927 – November 5, 2017) was an American chemist who was one of the most influential chemical physicists and molecular spectroscopists in the second half of the 20th century. Klemperer is most widely known for introducing molecular beam methods into chemical physics research, greatly increasing the understanding of nonbonding interactions between atoms and molecules through development of the microwave spectroscopy of van der Waals molecules formed in supersonic expansions, pioneering astrochemistry, including developing the first gas phase chemical models of cold molecular clouds that predicted an abundance of the molecular HCO+ ion that was later confirmed by radio astronomy.
Iron(I) hydride, systematically named iron hydride and poly(hydridoiron) is a solid inorganic compound with the chemical formula (FeH)
n. It is both thermodynamically and kinetically unstable toward decomposition at ambient temperature, and as such, little is known about its bulk properties.
Spectral line shape describes the form of a feature, observed in spectroscopy, corresponding to an energy change in an atom, molecule or ion. Ideal line shapes include Lorentzian, Gaussian and Voigt functions, whose parameters are the line position, maximum height and half-width. Actual line shapes are determined principally by Doppler, collision and proximity broadening. For each system the half-width of the shape function varies with temperature, pressure and phase. A knowledge of shape function is needed for spectroscopic curve fitting and deconvolution.