way that chemical structures rearrange, chemical reaction dynamics, is a wonderful field of studies. This thesis aims to provide more detailed insights into the effect of the quantum nature of educts, reaction intermediates and products on the dynamics of ion-molecule reactions. Therefore, these reactions have been examined at increased resolution and with quantum state specific preparation of educts.
In a first study, insight into quantum mechanical processes that influence the outcome of a reaction has been gained. By measurements of vibrational quantum state resolved angular differential cross-sections of reaction products, quantum state specific reaction dynamics in the reaction of Ar+ + N2 have been inferred.
Further studies focused on the dynamics of bimolecular nucleophilic substitution (SN2) reactions, that play a pivotal role in chemical synthesis, especially for interchanging functional groups and for carbon-carbon bond formation. These dynamics are a main research focus of the Wester group. In this thesis, the reaction of F with CH3Cl has been studied and compared to earlier work on the reaction of F with CH3I. In this way, the influence of the leaving group on S N 2 reactions has been determined to infer its importance also regarding the transition state geometry and orientation effects.
Checking beam overlaps of several beams is vital for the scattering experiments, especially when focused lasers are used to influence the molecular beam. In this thesis, a quantitative in-depth analysis of the imaging properties of this mode is presented. The description of the imaging process with Taylor matrices is very insightful and it has been recently extended to VMI settings.
Finally, the question of how CH symmetric stretch vibrational excitation affects the reaction of F with CH3I has been tackled and the influence of vibrational excitation on an SN2 reaction has been directly imaged for the first time.