In this paper we wish to report a new unimolecular dissociative source of methylene. The subject of our investigation is propylene oxide, which is a prototypical alkyl epoxide important for its relevance in air pollution and stratospheric systems as an oxygen atom olefin-addition product. Our findings on the mechanism of its decomposition are worthy of particular note in light of the fact that carbene elimination has not previously been associated with hydrocarbon epoxide decomposition.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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