November 2004

Nitrosyl Hydride

A single rotational line for HNO observed toward Sgr B2(OH) was reported as early as 1977 by Snyder et al. More than a decade would pass, however, before sufficient additional lines could be assigned to the species to confirm the detection, including studies by Hollis et el., Snyder et al., and Ziurys et al.

HNO, or nitrosyl hydride, is a non-linear triatomic species with a singlet ground state and low-lying triplet excited state. This is a spin-forbidden electronic transition, however, that cannot be populated directly from the ground state. It could be reached via an intersystem crossing from an excited singlet state.

In the early 2000s, it was learned that HNO is of some significance in biology.

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