The kinetics of the reaction between O atoms and OH radicals, both in their electronic ground state, have been investigated at temperatures down to ca. 39 K. The experiments employed a CRESU (Cinétique de Réaction en Ecoulement Supersonique Uniforme) apparatus to attain low temperatures. Both reagents were created using pulsed laser photolysis at 157.6 nm of mixtures containing H2O and O2 diluted in N2 carrier gas. OH radicals were formed by both direct photolysis of H2O and the reaction between O(1D) atoms and H2O. O(3P) atoms were formed both as a direct product of O2 photolysis and by the rapid quenching of O(1D) atoms formed in that photolysis by N2 and O2. The rates of removal of OH radicals were observed by laser-induced fluorescence, and concentrations of O atoms were estimated from a knowledge of the absorption cross-section for O2 at 157.6 nm and of the measured fluence from the F2 laser at this wavelength. To obtain a best estimate of the rate constants for the O + OH reaction, we had to correct the raw experimental data for the following: (a) the decrease in the laser fluence along the jet due to the absorption by O2 in the gas mixture, (b) the increase in temperature, and consequent decrease in gas density, as a result of energy released in the photochemical and chemical processes that occurred, and (c) the formation of OH(v = 0) as a result of relaxation, particularly by O2, of OH radicals formed in levels v > 0. Once these corrections were made, the rate constant for reaction between OH and O(3P) atoms showed little variation in the temperature range of 142 to 39 K and had a value of (3.5 ± 1.0) × 10-11 cm3 molecule-1 s-1. It is recommended that this value is used in future chemical models of dense interstellar clouds.
Carty, D., Goddard, A., Kohler, S., Sims, I., & Smith, I. (2006). Kinetics of the radical-radical reaction, O(triplet P,J + OH(X doublet pi omega) - O2 + H, at temperatures down to 39 K. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 110(9), 3101-3109. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp054429u