The mechanism underlying nitroxyl and nitric oxide formation from hydroxamic acids.
The pulse radiolysis of aqueous NO has been reinvestigated, the variances with the prior studies are discussed, and a mechanistic revision is suggested. Both the hydrated electron and the hydrogen atom reduce NO to yield the ground-state triplet (3)NO(-) and singlet (1)HNO, respectively, which further react with NO to produce the N(2)O(2)(-) radical, albeit with the very different specific rates, k((3)NO(-) + NO) = (3.0 +/- 0.8) x 10(9) and k((1)HNO + NO) = (5.8 +/- 0.2) x 10(6) M(-)(1) s(-)(1). These reactions occur much more rapidly than the spin-forbidden acid-base equilibration of (3)NO(-) and (1)HNO under all experimentally accessible conditions. As a result, (3)NO(-) and (1)HNO give rise to two reaction pathways that are well separated in time but lead to the same intermediates and products. The N(2)O(2)(-) radical extremely rapidly acquires another NO, k(N(2)O(2)(-) + NO) = (5.4 +/- 1.4) x 10(9) M(-)(1) s(-)(1), producing the closed-shell N(3)O(3)(-) anion, which unimolecularly decays to the final N(2)O + NO(2)(-) products with a rate constant of approximately 300 s(-)(1). Contrary to the previous belief, N(2)O(2)(-) is stable with respect to NO elimination, and so is N(3)O(3)(-). The optical spectra of all intermediates have also been reevaluated. The only intermediate whose spectrum can be cleanly observed in the pulse radiolysis experiments is the N(3)O(3)(-) anion (lambda(max) = 380 nm, epsilon(max) = 3.76 x 10(3) M(-)(1) cm(-)(1)). The spectra previously assigned to the NO(-) anion and to the N(2)O(2)(-) radical are due, in fact, to a mixture of species (mainly N(2)O(2)(-) and N(3)O(3)(-)) and to the N(3)O(3)(-) anion, respectively. Spectral and kinetic evidence suggests that the same reactions occur when (3)NO(-) and (1)HNO are generated by photolysis of the monoprotonated anion of Angeli's salt, HN(2)O(3)(-), in NO-containing solutions.