skip to main content

Title: UV photofragmentation dynamics of acetaldehyde cations prepared by single-photon VUV ionization
Acetaldehyde cations (CH 3 CHO + ) were prepared using single-photon vacuum ultraviolet ionization of CH 3 CHO in a molecular beam and the fragmentation dynamics explored over the photolysis wavelength range 390–210 nm using velocity-map ion imaging and photofragment yield (PHOFY) spectroscopy. Four fragmentation channels are characterized: CH 3 CHO + → C 2 H 3 O + + H (I), CH 3 CHO + → HCO + + CH 3 (II), CH 3 CHO + → CH 3 + + HCO (III), CH 3 CHO + → CH 4 + + CO (IV). Channels (I), (II), and (IV) are observed across the full photolysis wavelength range while channel (III) is observed only at λ < 317 nm. Maximum fragment ion yields are obtained at ∼250 nm. Ion images were recorded over the range 316–228 nm, which corresponds to initial excitation to the B̃ 2 A′ and C̃ 2 A′ states of CH 3 CHO + . The speed and angular distributions are distinctly different for each detected ion and show evidence of both statistical and dynamical fragmentation pathways. At longer wavelengths, fragmentation via channel (I) leads to modest translational energies ( E T ), consistent with dissociation over more » a small barrier and production of highly internally excited CH 3 CO + . Additional components with E INT greater than the CH 3 CO + secondary dissociation threshold appear at shorter wavelengths and are assigned to fragmentation products of vinyl alcohol cation or oxirane cation formed by isomerization of energized CH 3 CHO + . The E T distribution observed for channel (III) products peaks at zero but is notably colder than that predicted by phase space theory, particularly at longer photolysis wavelengths. The colder-than-statistical E T distributions are attributed to contributions from secondary fragmentation of energized CH 3 CO + formed via channel (I), which are attenuated by CH 3 CHO + isomerization at shorter wavelengths. Fragmentation via channels (II) and (IV) results in qualitatively similar outcomes, with evidence of isotropic statistical components at low- E T and anisotropic components due to excited state dynamics at higher E T . « less
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
14214 to 14225
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The dissociative photoionization processes of methyl hydroperoxide (CH 3 OOH) have been studied by imaging Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence (iPEPICO) spectroscopy experiments as well as quantum-chemical and statistical rate calculations. Energy selected CH 3 OOH + ions dissociate into CH 2 OOH + , HCO + , CH 3 + , and H 3 O + ions in the 11.4–14.0 eV photon energy range. The lowest-energy dissociation channel is the formation of the cation of the smallest “QOOH” radical, CH 2 OOH + . An extended RRKM model fitted to the experimental data yields a 0 K appearance energy of 11.647more »± 0.005 eV for the CH 2 OOH + ion, and a 74.2 ± 2.6 kJ mol –1 mixed experimental-theoretical 0 K heat of formation for the CH 2 OOH radical. The proton affinity of the Criegee intermediate, CH 2 OO, was also obtained from the heat of formation of CH 2 OOH + (792.8 ± 0.9 kJ mol –1 ) to be 847.7 ± 1.1 kJ mol –1 , reducing the uncertainty of the previously available computational value by a factor of 4. RRKM modeling of the complex web of possible rearrangement-dissociation processes were used to model the higher-energy fragmentation. Supported by Born–Oppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations, we found that the HCO + fragment ion is produced through a roaming transition state followed by a low barrier. H 3 O + is formed in a consecutive process from the CH 2 OOH + fragment ion, while direct C–O fission of the molecular ion leads to the methyl cation.« less
  2. The photodissociation dynamics of acetone has been investigated using velocity-map ion imaging and photofragment excitation (PHOFEX) spectroscopy across a range of wavelengths spanning the first absorption band (236–308 nm). The radical products of the Norrish Type I dissociation, methyl and acetyl, as well as the molecular product ketene have been detected by single-photon VUV ionization at 118 nm. Ketene appears to be formed with non-negligible yield at all wavelengths, with a maximum value of Φ ≈ 0.3 at 280 nm. The modest translational energy release is inconsistent with dissociation over high barriers on the S 0 surface, and ketene formationmore »is tentatively assigned to a roaming pathway involving frustrated dissociation to the radical products. Fast-moving radical products are detected at λ ≤ 305 nm with total translational energy distributions that extend to the energetic limit, consistent with dissociation occurring near-exclusively on the T 1 surface following intersystem crossing. At energies below the T 1 barrier a statistical component indicative of S 0 dissociation is observed, although dissociation via the S 1 /S 0 conical intersection is absent at shorter wavelengths, in contrast to acetaldehyde. The methyl radical yield is enhanced over that of acetyl in PHOFEX spectra at λ ≤ 260 nm due to the onset of secondary dissociation of internally excited acetyl radicals. Time-resolved ion imaging experiments using picosecond duration pulses at 266 nm find an appearance time constant of τ = 1490 ± 140 ps for CH 3 radicals formed on T 1 . The associated rate is representative of S 1 → T 1 intersystem crossing. At 284 nm, CH 3 is formed on T 1 with two distinct timescales: a fast <10 ns component is accompanied by a slower component with τ = 42 ± 7 ns. A two-step mechanism involving fast internal conversion, followed by slower intersystem crossing (S 1 → S 0 → T 1 ) is proposed to explain the slow component.« less
  3. By coupling a newly developed quantum-electronic-state-selected supersonically cooled vanadium cation (V + ) beam source with a double quadrupole-double octopole (DQDO) ion–molecule reaction apparatus, we have investigated detailed absolute integral cross sections ( σ 's) for the reactions, V + [a 5 D J ( J = 0, 2), a 5 F J ( J = 1, 2), and a 3 F J ( J = 2, 3)] + CH 4 , covering the center-of-mass collision energy range of E cm = 0.1–10.0 eV. Three product channels, VH + + CH 3 , VCH 2 + + H 2 ,more »and VCH 3 + + H, are unambiguously identified based on E cm -threshold measurements. No J -dependences for the σ curves ( σ versus E cm plots) of individual electronic states are discernible, which may indicate that the spin–orbit coupling is weak and has little effect on chemical reactivity. For all three product channels, the maximum σ values for the triplet a 3 F J state [ σ (a 3 F J )] are found to be more than ten times larger than those for the quintet σ (a 5 D J ) and σ (a 5 F J ) states, showing that a reaction mechanism favoring the conservation of total electron spin. Without performing a detailed theoretical study, we have tentatively interpreted that a weak quintet-to-triplet spin crossing is operative for the activation reaction. The σ (a 5 D 0 , a 5 F 1 , and a 3 F 2) measurements for the VH + , VCH 2 + , and VCH 3 + product ion channels along with accounting of the kinetic energy distribution due to the thermal broadening effect for CH 4 have allowed the determination of the 0 K bond dissociation energies: D 0 (V + –H) = 2.02 (0.05) eV, D 0 (V + –CH 2 ) = 3.40 (0.07) eV, and D 0 (V + –CH 3 ) = 2.07 (0.09) eV. Detailed branching ratios of product ion channels for the titled reaction have also been reported. Excellent simulations of the σ curves obtained previously for V + generated by surface ionization at 1800–2200 K can be achieved by the linear combination of the σ (a 5 D J , a 5 F J , and a 3 F J ) curves weighted by the corresponding Boltzmann populations of the electronic states. In addition to serving as a strong validation of the thermal equilibrium assumption for the populations of the V + electronic states in the hot filament ionization source, the agreement between these results also confirmed that the V + (a 5 D J , a 5 F J , and a 3 F J ) states prepared in this experiment are in single spin–orbit states with 100% purity.« less
  4. Isomerization induced by laser ionization in acetonitrile (CH3CN) was investigated using pump−probe spectroscopy in combination with ion−ion coincident Coulomb explosion imaging. We deduced five primary channels indicating direct C−C breakup, single and double hydrogen migration, and H and H2 dissociation in the acetonitrile cation. Surprisingly, the hydrogen-migration channels dominate over direct fragmentation. This observation is supported by quantum chemistry calculations showing that isomerization through single and double hydrogen migration leads to very stable linear and ring isomers, with most of them more stable than the original linear structure following ionization of the parent molecule. This is unlike most molecules investigatedmore »previously using similar schemes.By varying the delay between the pump and probe pulses, we have also determined the time scales of the corresponding dynamical processes. Isomerization typically occurs in a few hundred femtoseconds, a time scale that is comparable to that found for H and H2 dissociation and direct molecular fragmentation.« less
  5. Upon photoexcitation, molecules can undergo numerous complex processes, such as isomerization and roaming, leading to changes in the molecular and electronic structure. Here, we report on the time-resolved ultrafast nuclear dynamics, initiated by laser ionization, in the two structural isomers, 1- and 2-propanol, using a combination of pump–probe spectroscopy and coincident Coulomb explosion imaging. Our measurements, paired with quantum chemistry calculations, identify the mechanisms for the observed two- and three-body dissociation channels for both isomers. In particular, the fragmentation channel of 2-propanol associated with the loss of CH 3 shows possible evidence of methyl roaming. Moreover, the electronic structure ofmore »this roaming methyl fragment could be responsible for the enhanced ionization also observed for this channel. Finally, comparison with similar studies done on ethanol and acetonitrile helps establish a correlation between the length of the alkyl chain and the likelihood of hydrogen migration.« less