American Chemical Society
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Trend in the Electron Affinities of Fluorophenyl Radicals ·C6H5‑xFx (1 ≤ x ≤ 4)

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-21, 15:05 authored by Conor J. McGee, Kristen Rose McGinnis, Caroline Chick Jarrold
The electron affinities (EAs) of a series of ·C6H5–xFx (1 ≤ x ≤ 4) fluorophenyl radicals are determined from the photoelectron spectra of their associated fluorophenide anions generated from C6H6–xFx (1 ≤ x ≤ 4) fluorobenzene precursors. The spectra show a near-linear incremental increase in EA of 0.4 eV/x. The spectra exhibit vibrationally unresolved and broad detachment transitions consistent with significant differences in the molecular structures of the anion and neutral radical species. The experimental EAs and broad spectra are consistent with density functional theory calculations on these species. While the anion detachment transitions all involve an electron in a non-bonding orbital, the differences in structure between the neutral and anion are in part due to repulsion between the lone pair on the C-center on which the excess charge is localized and neighboring F atoms. The C6H5–xFx (2 ≤ x ≤ 4) spectra show features at lower binding energy that appear to be due to constitutional isomers formed in the ion source.