Using photoelectron imaging spectroscopy, we characterized the anion of methylglyoxal (X2A″ electronic state) and three lowest electronic states of the neutral methylglyoxal molecule: the closed-shell singlet ground state (X1A′), the lowest triplet state (a3A″), and the open-shell singlet state (A1A″). The adiabatic electron affinity (EA) of the ground state, EA(X1A′) = 0.87(1) eV, spectroscopically determined for the first time, compares to 1.10(2) eV for unsubstituted glyoxal. The EAs (adiabatic attachment energies) of two excited states of methylglyoxal were also determined: EA(a3A″) = 3.27(2) eV and EA(A1A″) = 3.614(9) eV. The photodetachment of the anion to each of these two states produces the neutral species near the respective structural equilibria; hence, the a3A″ ← X2A″ and A1A″ ← X2A″ photodetachment transitions are dominated by intense peaks at their respective origins. The lowest-energy photodetachment transition, on the other hand, involves significant geometry relaxation in the X1A′ state, which corresponds to a 60° internal rotation of the methyl group, compared to the anion structure. Accordingly, the X1A′ ← X2A″ transition is characterized as a broad, congested band, whose vertical detachment energy, VDE = 1.20(4) eV, significantly exceeds the adiabatic EA. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with the ab initio predictions using several equation-of-motion methodologies, combined with coupled-cluster theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry