Pure gaseous methyl cyanate, CH3OCN, has been generated from the gas/solid reaction of O-methyl thiocarbamate with mercuric oxide; excess water is removed in-situ with P2O5. Methyl cyanate reacts instantly with metal salts and isomerizes readily to the isocyanate. The gaseous molecule is characterized by He I photoelectron spectroscopy, photoionization (He I, HLα,β,γ) mass spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy for the first time. The geometries of the ground state molecule and cation, as well as the 10 lowest excited ionic states, are obtained from ab initio calculations at the MP2/6-31G** and CIS/6-31G** levels of theory. The observed ionization potentials and vibrational frequencies are compared with the results of the ab initio calculations, supporting the identification and assisting with the assignments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry