Vibrational predissociation processes of the H2O+Ar complex ion following mid-infrared excitations of the OH stretching modes and bending overtone of the H2O+ unit were studied by photofragment ion imaging. The anisotropy parameters, β, of the angular distributions of the photofragment ions were clearly dependent on the type (branch) of rotational excitation, β > 0 for the P-branch excitations, while β < 0 for the Q-branch excitations, which were consistent with the previous theoretical predictions for the rotationally resolved optical transition of a prolate symmetric top. The translational energy distributions had a similar form, irrespective of the excitation modes. This result suggests that the prepared excited states underwent a common relaxation pathway via the bending or bending overtone state of the H2O+ unit. In addition, the available energy was preferentially distributed into the rotational energy of the H2O+ fragment ions rather than the translational energy. The mechanism of the rotational excitations of the H2O+ fragment ions was discussed based on the steric configuration of the H2O+ and Ar units at the moment of dissociation.
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