Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






Photocatalytic reactions of metal carbonyl complexes with organic substrates have been studied extensively over the past decade. The reaction mechanisms proposed for most reactions studied have come from varying the concentrations and conditions on the reactants and examining the effects on the prc,ducts. The intermediate steps of the reaction mechanism are inferred from these kinds of experiments, but most intermediates are too short lived to be seen directly with conventional IR spectroscopy. This thesis describes the construction of an apparatus that uses fast transient IR spectroscopy to study the reaction intermediates that are too short lived to be detected by conventional IR spectroscopy. The apparatus uses flash photolysis to start the photocatalysis reaction and a diode laser to provide the IR probe radiation to measure the change in absorbance of the reaction intermediates. These experiments will provide the first direct observation of intermediate steps in reactions that, until this point in time, have been only postulated to exist in reaction mechanisms.