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Charge exchange in tandem mass spectrometry: dissociative single electron capture by doubly-charged toluene cations.

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  • 1Département de Chimie, Bâtiment B6c, Université de Liège, B-4000 Sart-Tilman, Belgium.


Single electron capture by doubly-charged toluene cations upon collision with various target gases has been investigated by sector tandem mass spectrometry. Both non-dissociative and dissociative charge transfer reactions leading to C(7)H(7)(+) + H and to C(5)H(5)(+) + [C(2),H(3)] are detected. Seven atomic or molecular target gases have been used with ionisation energies ranging from 8.8 eV to 14 eV. The branching ratios between the different non-dissociative and dissociative exit channels have been determined as well as the translational energy release on the dissociation products. The experimental data are compared to the predictions of a two-state semi-classical theoretical model that takes into account the non-adiabatic transition responsible for the charge transfer reaction. A wide reaction window shows up but the internal energies of the C(7)H(8)(+) cations produced by single electron capture are observed to be larger than expected. We assign this effect partly to the influence of the large density of vibrational states and to the multichannel nature of the process. Excited states of the dication are also most probably involved in the charge exchange reaction.

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