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The first direct branching ratio measurement of the three lowest energy dissociation channels of CO that produce C(3P) + O(3P), C(1D) + O(3P), and C(3P) + O(1D) is reported. Rotational resolved carbon ion yield spectra for two Π bands (W(3sσ)1Π (v = 3) at 108 012.6 cm−1 and 1Π(v = 2) at 109 017 cm−1) and two Σ bands ((4sσ)1Σ+(v = 4) at 109 452 cm−1 and (4pσ)1Σ+(v = 3) at 109 485 cm−1) of CO were obtained. Our measurements show that the branching ratio in this energy region is strongly dependent on the electronic and vibrational energy but it is independent or just weakly dependent on the parity and rotational energy levels. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the triplet channel producing O(1D) has been experimentally observed and this is also the first time that a direct measurement of the branching ratio for the different channels in the predissociation of CO in this energy region has been made.


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