Internal rotation and spin conversion of CH3OH in solid para-hydrogen

Yuan-Pern Lee*, Yu Jong Wu, R. M. Lees, Li Hong Xu, Jon T. Hougen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The quantum solid para-hydrogen (p-H2) has recently proven useful in matrix isolation spectroscopy. Spectral lines of compounds embedded in this host are unusually narrow, and several species have been reported to rotate in p-H2. We found that a p-H2 matrix inhibits rotation of isolated methanol (CH3OH) but still allows internal rotation about the C-O bond, with splittings of the E/A torsional doublet in internal rotation-coupled vibrational modes that are qualitatively consistent with those for CH3OH in the gaseous phase. This simplified high-resolution spectrum further revealed the slow conversion of nuclear spin symmetry from species E to species A in the host matrix, offering potential insight into nuclear spin conversion in astrophysical sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-368
Number of pages4
Issue number5759
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2006

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