Abstract

Vacuum-ultraviolet (Vuv) photolysis of molecules in low temperature, inert gas matrices has been known for some time and has been employed in the investigation of the spectroscopic properties of such reactive species as radicals and discrete ions. In most cases, the source of Vuv radiation below 200 nm has been microwave-powered gas discharge lamps which utilize the intense uv emission lines of the rare gases, H<sub>2</sub>, N<sub>2</sub>, and Br<sub>2</sub>. All such lamps are suitably equipped with appropriate uv-transmitting crystal windows (LiF, MgF<sub>2</sub>, CaF<sub>2</sub>, SrF<sub>2</sub>, BaF<sub>2</sub>, sapphire, and Suprasil II). Of these materials, LiF has the shortest wavelength transmission cutoff (10%<i>T</i> at 104.0 nm) although it possesses the very serious drawback of being extremely susceptible to radiation damage which significantly reduces its transmission in the ultraviolet. MgF<sub>2</sub> is superior to LiF in this respect, although its transmission cutoff (116.0 nm) is considerably higher in wavelength. It was with the intention of eliminating the necessity for any such window that we proceeded to investigate the possibility of using a "windowless" argon discharge for matrix photolysis at 104.8 and 106.7 nm.

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