3 years ago

Ab initio dynamics and photoionization mass spectrometry reveal ion-molecule pathways from ionized acetylene clusters to benzene cation [Chemistry]

Ab initio dynamics and photoionization mass spectrometry reveal ion-molecule pathways from ionized acetylene clusters to benzene cation [Chemistry]
Oleg Kostko, Musahid Ahmed, Tamar Stein, Biswajit Bandyopadhyay, Martin Head-Gordon, Tyler P. Troy, Yigang Fang

The growth mechanism of hydrocarbons in ionizing environments, such as the interstellar medium (ISM), and some combustion conditions remains incompletely understood. Ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations and molecular beam vacuum-UV (VUV) photoionization mass spectrometry experiments were performed to understand the ion–molecule growth mechanism of small acetylene clusters (up to hexamers). A dramatic dependence of product distribution on the ionization conditions is demonstrated experimentally and understood from simulations. The products change from reactive fragmentation products in a higher temperature, higher density gas regime toward a very cold collision-free cluster regime that is dominated by products whose empirical formula is (C2H2)n+, just like ionized acetylene clusters. The fragmentation products result from reactive ion–molecule collisions in a comparatively higher pressure and temperature regime followed by unimolecular decomposition. The isolated ionized clusters display rich dynamics that contain bonded C4H4+ and C6H6+ structures solvated with one or more neutral acetylene molecules. Such species contain large amounts (>2 eV) of excess internal energy. The role of the solvent acetylene molecules is to affect the barrier crossing dynamics in the potential energy surface (PES) between (C2H2)n+ isomers and provide evaporative cooling to dissipate the excess internal energy and stabilize products including the aromatic ring of the benzene cation. Formation of the benzene cation is demonstrated in AIMD simulations of acetylene clusters with n > 3, as well as other metastable C6H6+ isomers. These results suggest a path for aromatic ring formation in cold acetylene-rich environments such as parts of the ISM.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.