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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Electronic and Vibrational Spectroscopy of Ni+(H2O)


The electronic and vibrational spectra of Ni+(H2O) were measured using photofragment spectroscopy. In the electronic spectrum, photodissociation is observed at photon energies above 16875 cm-1. The only fragment observed is Ni+. The electronic spectrum consists of well-resolved peaks spaced by ~340 cm-1, due to a vibrational progression in the excited electronic state. These peaks have complex sub-structure, consisting of a triplet, spaced by ~30 cm-1. The sub-structure is due to rotational structure in a perpendicular transition of a prolate top molecule. In addition to this major progression, there is a series of less intense, single peaks spaced by ~340 cm-1. These may be due to a vibrational progression in a second electronic state, this time due to a parallel transition.

The O-H stretching vibrations of Ni+(H2O) were measured using vibrationally mediated photodissociation (VMP) in a depletion experiment, only monitoring transitions from K’’=1. This revealed a O-H symmetric stretch at 3629 cm-1 and antisymmetric O-H stretch at 3692 cm-1.

Several electronic structure calculations complement the experiments using the BHandHLYP hybrid density functional and the 6-311++G(3dp, f) basis set. At this level of theory, Ni+(H2O) is predicted to have C2v symmetry and 2A1 ground state. The Ni-O bond length is 1.95, the O-H bond lengths are .955 and the H-O-H angle is 108.2˚ The molecule is a near-prolate top, with rotational constants A=13.98 cm-1, B=0.297 cm-1 and C=0.296 cm-1 . Analysis of the electronic and vibrational spectra reveals that binding to Ni+ removes electron density from the oxygen lone pairs, increasing the H-O-H bond angle from its value in bare H2O. The electronic and vibrational spectra corresponds to 4s ¬3d transistion in Ni+. As a result of electronic excitation, the Ni-O bond stretches by .20 Å, and the H-O-H bond angle is reduced.

First Advisor

Ricardo B. Metz