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J Mass Spectrom. 2012 Jan;47(1):89-95. doi: 10.1002/jms.2030.

Ethane cation decomposition characterization by EBMI spectroscopy: gas-phase dissociative recombination as a source of secondary products.

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Department of Chemistry, Trent University, Chemical Sciences Building, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 5G8, Canada.


The decomposition products of the d(6) -ethane cation following charge-transfer ionization with Ar(+) , under conditions of varying ionization electron current, have been isolated in solid argon matrices at 18 K and examined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Gas samples containing 1 : 1600 d(6) -ethane : Ar were subjected to electron bombardment by using either a high (pin) or a low (plate) ionization density anode configuration with ionization currents between 20 and 150 μA. Under high ionization density conditions, the observed major products were d(4) -ethene (C(2) D(4) ) and d(2) -acetylene (C(2) D(2) ), with smaller yields of C(2) D(5) , C(2) D(3) , and C(2) D. The yield of each dehydrogenation product was enhanced with increased current. Analogous experiments employing the low ionization density plate anode resulted in reduced C(2) D(6) destruction and the formation of only C(2) D(4) and C(2) D(2) . The results suggest the onset of dissociative recombination processes under high ion density conditions. In this context, the results can be interpreted as a dissociative recombination of primary ion products, which gives rise to further dehydrogenation, and appearance of additional neutral radical products.

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