Reactions and anion desorption induced by low-energy electron exposure of condensed acetonitrile

  • A. D. Bass
  • J. H. Bredehöft
  • E. Böhler
  • L. Sanche
  • P. Swiderek
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical issue: Electron/Positron Collision


Thermal desorption spectrometry (TDS) and electron stimulated desorption (ESD) are employed to investigate mechanisms responsible for the formation of C2H6 in electron irradiated multilayer films of acetonitrile (CH3CN) at 30 K. Using a high sensitivity time-of-flight mass spectrometer, we observe the ESD of anionic fragments H, CH2 , CH3 and CN. Desorption occurs following dissociative electron attachment (DEA) via several negative ion resonances in the 6 to 14 eV energy range and correlates well with a “resonant” structure seen in the TDS yield of C2H6 (i.e., at mass 30 amu). It is proposed that C2H6 is formed by the reactions of CH3 radicals generated following DEA to CH3CN which also yields CN. Between 2 and 5 eV, a second resonant feature is seen in the C2H6 signal. While DEA is observed in the gas phase at these energies, no anion desorption occurs since anionic fragments likely have insufficient kinetic energy to desorb. Since the CH2 ion has not been observed in gas-phase measurements, we propose that it is formed, along with HCN (that is detected in TDS) when dissociation into CH3 and CN is hindered by adjacent molecules.


Topical issue: Electron/Positron Collision. Guest editors: Michael Brunger, Anne Lafosse, Gaetana Laricchia, Paolo Limao-Vieira and Nigel Mason 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Bass
    • 1
  • J. H. Bredehöft
    • 2
  • E. Böhler
    • 2
  • L. Sanche
    • 1
  • P. Swiderek
    • 2
  1. 1.Département de Médecine Nucléaire et Radiobiologie, Faculté de MédecineUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Institut für Angewandte und Physikalische ChemieUniversität BremenBremenGermany

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