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Title: Multi-photon ionization and fragmentation of uracil: Neutral excited-state ring opening and hydration effects

Multi-photon ionization (MPI) of the RNA base uracil has been studied in the wavelength range 220–270 nm, coinciding with excitation to the S{sub 2}(ππ*) state. A fragment ion at m/z = 84 was produced by 2-photon absorption at wavelengths ≤232 nm and assigned to C{sub 3}H{sub 4}N{sub 2}O{sup +} following CO abstraction. This ion has not been observed in alternative dissociative ionization processes (notably electron impact) and its threshold is close to recent calculations of the minimum activation energy for a ring opening conical intersection to a σ(n-π)π* closed shell state. Moreover, the predicted ring opening transition leaves a CO group at one end of the isomer, apparently vulnerable to abstraction. An MPI mass spectrum of uracil-water clusters is presented for the first time and compared with an equivalent dry measurement. Hydration enhances certain fragment ion pathways (particularly C{sub 3}H{sub 3}NO{sup +}) but represses C{sub 3}H{sub 4}N{sub 2}O{sup +} production. This indicates that hydrogen bonding to water stabilizes uracil with respect to neutral excited-state ring opening.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22220207
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 24; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ABSORPTION; ACTIVATION ENERGY; DISSOCIATION; ELECTRON COLLISIONS; EXCITED STATES; HYDRATION; IONIZATION; MASS SPECTRA; RNA; URACILS