BARNEY ELLISON, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0215.

Complex organic radicals are important intermediates in many combustion and environmental processes. In combustion processes, the organic radical CH is known to cleave N2 into HCN and N atoms. Most N atoms are further oxidized to NO which exhausts into the atmosphere. Thus the reaction of CH with N2 to produce N atoms connects internal combustion engines with NO production. Some fraction of these N atoms, however, reacts with CH3 in the flame to produce CH3N. Methylnitrene is very unstable and decomposes to generate CH2NH or H2 + HCN. We will discuss the use of negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy to characterize methylnitrene.

\begineqnarray CH3N- + \hbar omega_488~nm rightarrow CH3N+e- \nonumber \endeqnarray We find EA(CH3N) = 0.022 \pm 0.009 eV. In addition to detaching the methylnitrene anion to the ground state of CH3N (X~3A2), we also detect the first electronically excited state of methylnitrene, a 1E. We measure DeltaE(a 1E- X 3A2) = 1.352 \pm 0.011 eV. The reaction dynamics of nitrene rearrangements will be discussed:

\begineqnarray CH3 N (X~3\textrmA2) rightarrow \textrmno reaction\nonumber
CH3 N (a 1\textrmE) rightarrow CH2 NH \nonumber \endeqnarray