Experimentally-Measured Rate Parameters for Vibrational Quenching of CO by N2

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Carbon monoxide is a trace species in Titan's atmosphere that is not consistently found in local thermodynamic equilibrium at all altitudes. Understanding how CO exchanges energy with atmospheric collision partners is therefore crucial for accurate atmospheric modelling. Particularly significant could be vibrational relaxation of CO by nitrogen due to the high collision frequency in Titan's N2-based atmosphere. Some CO(v)-N2 rate coefficients have never been experimentally measured while others were measured decades ago in low-precision experiments. In this work, we present precise experimental measurements of the rate coefficients for the quenching of CO(v = 1,2) by N2. To perform the experiment, an equilibrium mixture of CO, N2, O3, and bath gases was subjected to a temperature-jump, creating a small amount of vibrationally-excited CO. Transient diode laser absorption spectroscopy was then used to observe the evolving vibrational state populations as a function of time. The rate coefficients of interest were found by measuring quenching rate as a function of quencher concentrations. The rate coefficient for quenching of CO(v = 1) by N2 was measured to be k = (1.3 ± 0.2) x 10−14 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 and the rate coefficient for quenching of CO(v = 2) by N2 was measured to be k = (2.1 ± 0.5) x 10−13 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 at 315 K.


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