Laser induced and controlled chemical reaction of carbon monoxide and hydrogen
Strydom, Christiena Adriana
Du Plessis, Anton
Botha, Lourens R.
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Bimolecular chemical reaction control of gaseous CO and H2 at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, without any catalyst, using shaped femtosecond laser pulses is presented. High intensity laser radiation applied to a reaction cell facilitates non-resonant bond breakage and the formation of a range of ions, which can then react to form new products. Stable reaction products are measured after irradiation of a reaction cell, using time of flight mass spectroscopy. Bond formation of C–O, C–C, and C–H bonds is demonstrated as CO2+, C2H2+, CH+, and CH3+ were observed in the time of flight mass spectrum of the product gas, analyzed after irradiation. The formation of CO2 is shown to be dependent on laser intensity, irradiation time, and on the presence of H2 in the reaction cell. Using negatively chirped laser pulses more C–O bond formation takes place as compared to more C–C bond formation for unchirped pulses.