The Sm+O chemiionization reaction has been investigated theoretically using a method that allows for correlation and relativistic effects. Potential energy curves have been calculated for several electronic states of SmO and SmO+. Comparison with available spectroscopic and thermodynamic values for these species is reported and a mechanism for the chemiionization reaction Sm+O is proposed. The importance of spin-orbit coupling in the excited states of SmO, in allowing this chemiionization reaction to take place, has been revealed by these calculations. This paper shows the metal-plus-oxidant chemiionization reaction
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