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  1. The unimolecular isomerisation of the prompt propargyl + propargyl “head-to-head” adduct, 1,5-hexadiyne, to fulvene and benzene by the 3,4-dimethylenecyclobut-1-ene (DMCB) intermediate (all C 6 H 6 ) was studied in the high-pressure limit by threshold photoelectron (TPE) spectroscopy. TPE spectra (TPES) were recorded with photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy using synchrotron vacuum ultraviolet radiation. Reference TPES, obtained using pure compounds or judiciously extracted from the pyrolysis data, served as basis functions for pyrolysis quantification. From these spectra, we measured a revised fulvene ionisation energy of 8.401 ± 0.005 eV. Temperature-dependent pyrolysis spectra were decomposed using these basis functions. The basis function coefficients were converted to product yields relying on assumed integral threshold photoionisation cross sections obtained by three, partially mutually exclusive sets of assumptions. Thus, the product yields of DMCB, fulvene, and benzene have been established, as well as their uncertainty. The derived mole fractions are consistent with modeling based on the C 6 H 6 potential and RRKM master equation model of Miller and Klippenstein [ J. Phys. Chem. A , 2003, 107 , 7783]. Although our results are fully consistent with the parallel isomerisation pathways to benzene and fulvene found by Miller and Klippenstein, we observe the onset ofmore »fulvene at a lower temperature than that of the onset of benzene, in agreement with the master equation model but in contrast to the previous experiments of Stein et al. [ Proc. Combust. Inst. , 1990, 23 , 85]. This work promotes the use of photoion mass-selected threshold photoelectron spectroscopy as a rapid, sensitive, isomer-selective, and quantitative detection tool among the panoply of established analytical techniques.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 21, 2023
  2. The valence photoionization of light and deuterated methanol dimers was studied by imaging photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy in the 10.00–10.35 eV photon energy range. Methanol clusters were generated in a rich methanol beam in nitrogen after expansion into vacuum. They generally photoionize dissociatively to protonated methanol cluster cations, (CH 3 OH) n H + . However, the stable dimer parent ion (CH 3 OH) 2 + is readily detected below the dissociation threshold to yield the dominant CH 3 OH 2 + fragment ion. In addition to protonated methanol, we could also detect the water- and methyl-loss fragment ions of the methanol dimer cation for the first time. These newly revealed fragmentation channels are slow and cannot compete with protonated methanol cation formation at higher internal energies. In fact, the water- and methyl-loss fragment ions appear together and disappear at a ca. 150 meV higher energy in the breakdown diagram. Experiments with selectively deuterated methanol samples showed H scrambling involving two hydroxyl and one methyl hydrogens prior to protonated methanol formation. These insights guided the potential energy surface exploration to rationalize the dissociative photoionization mechanism. The potential energy surface was further validated by a statistical model including isotope effects tomore »fit the experiment for the light and the perdeuterated methanol dimers simultaneously. The (CH 3 OH) 2 + parent ion dissociates via five parallel channels at low internal energies. The loss of both CH 2 OH and CH 3 O neutral fragments leads to protonated methanol. However, the latter, direct dissociation channel is energetically forbidden at low energies. Instead, an isomerization transition state is followed by proton transfer from a methyl group, which leads to the CH 3 (H)OH + ⋯CH 2 OH ion, the precursor to the CH 2 OH-, H 2 O-, and CH 3 -loss fragments after further isomerization steps, in part by a roaming mechanism. Water loss yields the ethanol cation, and two paths are proposed to account for m/z 49 fragment ions after CH 3 loss. The roaming pathways are quickly outcompeted by hydrogen bond breaking to yield CH 3 OH 2 + , which explains the dominance of the protonated methanol fragment ion in the mass spectrum.« less