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Title: Soft or hard ionization of molecules in helium nanodroplets? An electron impact investigation of alcohols and ethers
Authors: Yang, Shengfu
Brereton, Scott M.
Wheeler, Martyn D.
Ellis, Andrew M.
First Published: 10-Oct-2005
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Citation: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2005, 7 (24), pp. 4082-4088
Abstract: Electron impact (70 eV) mass spectra of a series of C[subscript 1]-C[subscript 6] alcohols encased in large superfluid liquid helium nanodroplets (approximately 60,000 helium atoms) have been recorded. The presence of helium alters the fragmentation patterns when compared with the gas phase, with some ion product channels being more strongly affected than others, most notably cleavage of the C[subscript α]-H bond in the parent ion to form the corresponding oxonium ion. Parent ion intensities are also enhanced by the helium, but only for the two cyclic alcohols studied, cyclopentanol and cyclohexanol, is this effect large enough to transform the parent ion from a minor product (in the gas phase) into the most abundant ion in the helium droplet experiments. To demonstrate that these findings are not unique to alcohols, we have also investigated several ethers. The results obtained for both alcohols and ethers are difficult to explain solely by rapid cooling of the excited parent ions by the surrounding superfluid helium, although this undoubtedly takes place. A second factor also seems to be involved, a cage effect which favors hydrogen atom loss over other fragmentation channels. The set of molecules explored in this work suggest that electron impact ionization of doped helium nanodroplets does not provide a sufficiently large softening effect to be useful in analytical mass spectrometry.
DOI Link: 10.1039/b511628g
ISSN: 1463-9076
eISSN: 1463-9084
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2005, Royal Society of Chemistry. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Chemistry

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