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A VUV Photoionization and Ab Initio Determination of the Ionization Energy of a Gas-Phase Sugar (Deoxyribose)

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 20:39 by Debashree Ghosh, Amir Golan, Lynelle K. Takahashi, Anna I. Krylov, Musahid Ahmed
The ionization energy of gas-phase deoxyribose was determined using tunable vacuum ultraviolet synchrotron radiation coupled to an effusive thermal source. Adiabatic and vertical ionization energies of the ground and first four excited states of α-pyranose, the structure that dominates in the gas phase, were calculated using high-level electronic structure methods. An appearance energy of 9.1(±0.05) eV was recorded, which agrees reasonably well with a theoretical value of 8.8 eV for the adiabatic ionization energy. A clear picture of the dissociative photoionization dynamics of deoxyribose emerges from the fragmentation pattern recorded using mass spectrometry and from ab initio molecular dynamics calculations. The experimental threshold 9.4 (±0.05) eV for neutral water elimination upon ionization is captured well in the calculations, and qualitative insights are provided by molecular orbital analysis and molecular dynamics snapshots along the reaction coordinate.