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Resonant Soft X-Ray Photofragmentation of Propane



William E. Wallace, Daniel A. Fischer


A comparison was made between the mass spectra of propane (CH6d3^CH2CH3) for resonant soft X-ray photofragmentation and electron-impact ionization. The soft X-ray photon energy was tuned to 287.7 eV to promote Auger relaxations from the C-H bonds (1s _> C-H ς* transition). It was hypothesized that this would lead to proton loss without C-C chain fragmentation. Compared to traditional 70 eV electron-impact ionization, photoionization does bias the mass spectrum toward proton loss; however, residual vibrational energy in the room temperature propane leads to a non-trival amount of C-C bond scission. The resonant soft X-ray photofragmentation is dominated by three-carbon ions between 38 u and 40 u created by the loss of hydrogen while the electron-impact ionization is dominated by a major peak at 29 u corresponding to the two-carbon ion C2H5+. Within each envelope of three-, two-, or single-carbon ions the core-level photoionization spectrum showed a bias toward enhanced multiple hydrogen removal compared to the electron-stimulated spectrum.
Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
No. 1-3


mass spectrometry, photodissociation, photofragmentaton, photoionization, polyethylene, polymer, propane, soft x-ray, synchron


Wallace, W. and Fischer, D. (2003), Resonant Soft X-Ray Photofragmentation of Propane, Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created July 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017