Conical for stepwise, glancing for concerted: The role of the excited state topology in three-body dissociation of sym-triazine
The highly debated three-body dissociation of sym-triazine to three HCN products has been investigated by translational spectroscopy and high-level ab initio calculations. Dissociation was induced by charge exchange between the sym-triazine radical cation and cesium. Calculated state energies and electronic couplings suggest that sym-triazine is produced in the 3s Rydberg and n,pi* manifolds. Analysis of the topology of these manifolds along with momentum correlation in the dissociation products suggest that the 3s Rydberg manifold characterized by a conical intersection of two potential energy surfaces leads to stepwise dissociation, while the n,pi* manifold consisting of a four-fold glancing intersection leads to a symmetric concerted reaction.