New Results for the Formation of a Muoniated Radical in the Mu+Br-2 System: a van der Waals Complex or Evidence for Vibrational Bonding in Br-Mu-Br?

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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (Vol.14, Iss.1)


Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Physical Chemistry


New evidence is presented for the observation of a muoniated radical in the Mu + Br-2 system, from mu SR longitudinal field (LF) repolarisation studies in thegas phase, at Br-2 concentrations of 0.1 bar in a Br-2/N-2 mixture at 300 K and at 10 bar total pressure. The LF repolarisation curve, up to a field of 4.5 kG, reveals two paramagnetic components, one for the Mu atom, formed promptly during the slowing-down process of the positive muon, with a known Mu hyperfine coupling constant (hfcc) of 4463 MHz, and one for a muoniated radical formed by fast Mu addition. From model fits to the Br-2/N-2 data, the radicalcomponent is found to have an unusually high muon hfcc, assessed to be similar to 3300 MHz with an overall error due to systematics expected to exceed 10%. This high muon hfcc is taken as evidence for the observation of either the Br-Mu-Br radical, and hence of vibrational bonding in this H-L-H system, or ofa Mu center dot center dot center dot Br-2 van der Waals complex formed in the entrance channel. Preliminary ab initio electronic structure calculations suggest the latter is more likely but fully rigorous calculations of the effect of dynamics on the hfcc for either system have yet to be carried out.