Date of Award

5-2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Chemistry

Major Professor

John F. C. Turner

Committee Members

Chris Benamore, L. J. Magid

Abstract

The structure of two superacids in the liquid phase, hydrogen fluoride and fluorosulfuric acid, have been determined by neutron and high energy X-ray diffraction in this study. In addition the structure of a molecular Lewis acid, BF3, has been determined for the liquid state as well as the supercritical state. Experiments were also performed on solutions of the hydronium ion in fluorosulfuric acid by neutron and X-ray diffraction as well as by Raman spectroscopy.

In addition this thesis presents the design and construction of sample cells for neutron and X-ray scattering experiments and the design and construction of a high vacuum/fluorine line capable of handling hydrogen fluoride as well as other fluorine containing species.

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