The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) radical is composed of the two most abundant elements in the atmosphere, where it can be formed in a variety of ways including combustion, detonation of energetic materials, and lightning. Relevant also to smog and ozone cycles, together these processes span a wide range of temperatures. Remarkably, high-resolution NO2 electronic absorption spectra have only been reported in a narrow range below about 300 K. Previously, we reported [ J. Phys. Chem. A 2021, 125, 5519−5533 ] the construction of quasi-diabatic potential energy surfaces (PESs) for the lowest four electronic states (X̃, Ã, B̃, and C̃) of NO2. In addition to three-dimensional PESs based on explicitly correlated MRCI(Q)-F12/VTZ-F12 ab initio data, the geometry dependence of each component of the dipoles and transition dipoles was also mapped into fitted surfaces. The multiconfigurational time-dependent Hartree (MCTDH) method was then used to compute the 0 K electronic absorption spectrum (from the ground rovibrational initial state) employing those energy and transition dipole surfaces. Here, in an extension of that work, we report an investigation into the effects of elevated temperature on the spectrum, considering the effects of the population of rotationally and vibrationally excited initial states. The calculations are complemented by new experimental measurements. Spectral contributions from hundreds of rotational states up to N = 20 and from 200 individually-characterized vibrational states were computed. A spectral simulation tool was developed that enables modeling the spectrum at various temperatures─by weighting individual spectral contributions via the partition function, or for pure excited initial states, which can be probed via transient absorption spectroscopy. We validate these results against experimental absorption spectroscopy data at high temperatures, as well as via a new measurement from the (1,0,1) initial vibrational state.




National Science Foundation, Grant OAC-1919789

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1520-5215; 1089-5639

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2023 American Chemical Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023

PubMed ID