Methanol is one of the simplest molecules that undergo torsional oscillations, and so it has been extensively studied in the gas phase by various spectroscopic techniques. At 300 K, a large number of rotational, torsional, and vibrational energy levels is populated, and this makes for a rather complicated spectrum, which is still not fully understood. It is expected that in going from 300 K to 0.4 K (the temperature of helium nanodroplets) the population distribution of methanol will mainly collapse into two states; the JK = 00 state for the A1 nuclear spin symmetry species (with ICH3 = 3/2), and the JK = 1−1 state for the E species (ICH3 = 1/2). This results in a simplified spectrum that consists of narrow a-type (ΔK = 0) lines and broader b- and c-type (ΔK = ±1) lines. We have recorded the rotovibrational spectrum of CH3OH in the OH stretching, CH3 stretching and bending, CH3 rocking, and CO stretching regions, and have firmly assigned five bands (v1, v2, v3, v7, and v8), and tentatively assigned five others (v9, 2v4, v4 + v10, 2v10, and v4 + v5). To our knowledge, the transitions we have assigned within the v4 + v10, 2v10, and v4 + v5 bands have not yet been assigned in the gas phase, and we hope that considering the very small “matrix” shift in helium nanodroplets (<1 cm−1 for most subband origins of CH3OH), those made here can aid in their gas phase identification. Microwave-infrared double resonance spectroscopy was used to confirm the initially tentative a-type infrared assignments in the OH stretching (v1) band of A1 species methanol, in addition to revealing “warm” b-type lines. From a rotovibrational analysis, the B rotational constant is found to be reduced quite significantly (56%) with respect to the gas phase, and the torsional tunneling splittings are relatively unaffected and are at most reduced by 16%. While most rovibrational peaks are Lorentzian shaped, and those which are significantly perturbed by vibrational coupling in the gas phase are additionally broadened, the narrowest ΔJ = +1 peaks are asymmetric, and a skew-type analysis suggests that the response time of the helium solvent upon excitation is of the order of 1 ns.

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