5 years ago

Unveiling the Ionization Energy of the CN Radical

Unveiling the Ionization Energy of the CN Radical
Jean-Christophe Loison, Séverine Boyé-Péronne, Anja Röder, Gustavo A. Garcia, Bérenger Gans, Philippe Halvick, Domenik Schleier
The cyano radical is a ubiquitous molecule and was, for instance, one of the first species detected in astrophysical media such as comets or diffuse clouds. In photodissociation regions, the reaction rate of CN+ + CO → CN + CO+ is one of the critical parameters defining nitrile chemistry. The enthalpy of this charge transfer reaction is defined as the difference of ionization energies (EI) between CN and CO. Although EI(CO) is known accurately, the EI(CN) values are more dispersed and deduced indirectly from thermodynamic thresholds only, all above EI(CO), leading to the assumption that the reaction is fast even at low temperature. Using a combination of synchrotron radiation, electron/ion imaging coincidence techniques, and supporting ab initio calculations, we directly determine the first adiabatic ionization energy of CN at 13.956(7) eV, and we demonstrate that EI(CN) < EI(CO). The findings suggest a very slow reaction in the cold regions of interstellar media.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01853

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01853

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