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Title: A vacuum ultraviolet laser pulsed field ionization-photoion study of methane (CH 4): Determination of the appearance energy of methylium from methane with unprecedented precision and the resulting impact on the bond dissociation energies of CH 4 and CH 4 +

Here, we report on the successful implementation of a high-resolution vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) laser pulsed field ionization-photoion (PFI-PI) detection method for the study of unimolecular dissociation of quantum-state- or energy-selected molecular ions. As a test case, we have determined the 0 K appearance energy (AE 0) for the formation of methylium, CH 3 +, from methane, CH 4, as AE 0 (CH 3 +/CH 4) = 14.32271 ± 0.00013 eV. This value has a significantly smaller error limit, but is otherwise consistent with previous laboratory and/or synchrotron-based studies of this dissociative photoionization onset. Furthermore, the sum of the VUV laser PFI-PI spectra obtained for the parent CH 4 + ion and the fragment CH 3 + ions of methane is found to agree with the earlier VUV pulsed field ionization-photoelectron (VUV-PFI-PE) spectrum of methane, providing unambiguous validation of the previous interpretation that the sharp VUV-PFI-PE step observed at the AE 0 (CH 3 +/CH 4) threshold ensues because of higher PFI detection efficiency for fragment CH 3 + than for parent CH 4 +. This, in turn, is a consequence of the underlying high- n Rydberg dissociation mechanism for the dissociative photoionization of CH 4, which was proposed in previousmore » synchrotron-based VUV-PFI-PE and VUV-PFI-PEPICO studies of CH 4. The present highly accurate 0 K dissociative ionization threshold for CH 4 can be utilized to derive accurate values for the bond dissociation energies of methane and methane cation. For methane, the straightforward application of sequential thermochemistry via the positive ion cycle leads to some ambiguity because of two competing VUV-PFI-PE literature values for the ionization energy of methyl radical. The ambiguity is successfully resolved by applying the Active Thermochemical Tables (ATcT) approach, resulting in D 0 (H-CH 3) = 432.463 ± 0.027 kJ/mol and D 0(H-CH 3 +) = 164.701 ± 0.038 kJ/mol.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP (Print)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP (Print); Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 1463-9076
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22), Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; active thermochemical tables; dissociative ionization; photoionization; thermochemistry
OSTI Identifier: