Experimental and theoretical approaches
Microwave studies of nitrosyl complexes;
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We use both experiments and theory to study nitric oxide complexes. On the experimental side, we introduce a mixture of nitric oxide with other gases, such as krypton, carbon monoxide, water and benzene, into a high vacuum chamber through a pulsed nozzle. The pulsed nozzle is used to create a supersonic expansion, and to transfer the molecules into the lowest vibrational and rotational levels. The low pressure in our chamber, which is typically a hundred thousand times less than the atmospheric pressure, excludes the possibility of creating complexes of more than two molecules. A high-power pulsed microwave field polarizes the nitric oxide complexes created in this way, and after some microseconds we detect the emission. This emission carries valuable information about the structure and the function of the complexes. On the theoretical side, we use commercial and home-made programs to calculate the intermolecular forces and the energy levels. Comparing our experimental and theoretical results enables us to improve our theoretical models and explain our often complicated microwave spectra.