Transition-State Spectroscopy of Cyclooctatetraene

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5267, pp. 1456-1459
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5267.1456


The 351-nanometer photoelectron spectrum of the planar cyclooctatetraene radical anion (COT·−) shows transitions to two electronic states of cyclooctatetraene (COT). These states correspond to the D4h 1A1g state, which is the transition state for COT ring inversion, and the D8h 3A2u state. The electron binding energy of the 1A1g transition state is 1.099 ± 0.010 electron volts, which is lower by 12.1 ± 0.3 kilocalories per mole than that of the 3A2u state. The photoelectron spectrum shows that the singlet lies well below the triplet in D8h COT and confirms ab initio predictions that the molecule violates Hund's rule. Vibrational structure is observed for both features and is readily assigned by use of a simple potential energy surface.

Stay Connected to Science