Isocyanate Formation from Reactions of Early Lanthanide Metal Atoms with NO and CO in Solid Argon

The reactions of early lanthanide metal atoms (Ce, Pr, and Nd) with carbon monoxide and nitric oxide mixtures are studied by infrared absorption spectroscopy in solid argon. The reaction intermediates and products are identified via isotopic substitution as well as theoretical frequency calculations. The results show that the reactions proceed with the initial formation of inserted NLnO molecules, which subsequently react with CO to form the NLnO­(CO) complexes on annealing. The NLnO­(CO) complexes further isomerize to the more stable isocyanate OLnNCO species under UV light excitation.