Vacuum-UV and electron dissociative ionisation studies of SF5Cl

RYL Chim, P Cicman, TD Mark, Christopher Mayhew, P Scheier, Richard Tuckett

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6 Citations (Scopus)


A complementary study of the interaction of SF\(_5\)Cl in the gas phase with vacuum-UV photons and low-energy electrons from the onset of ionisation, ca. 12 eV, to 20 eV is presented. The photon-induced experiments have used tunable vacuum-UV radiation from a synchrotron and threshold photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy for product ion detection, the electron-induced experiments a trochoidal electron monochromator and a quadrupole mass spectrometer. The strengths and limitations of both experiments are contrasted, the main difference being the absence of state selectivity in the electron-induced study. The parent cation is not observed in either study, suggesting that its ground electronic state is repulsive following Franck-Condon vertical excitation. The fragment cations SF\(_5^+\), SF\(_4\)Cl\(^+\), SF\(_4^+\) and SF\(_3^+\) have been observed in both studies, with reasonable agreement in their threshold appearance energies. Using a variant of threshold photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy applicable when the ground state of the parent cation is repulsive, the first dissociative ionisation energy of SF\(_5\)Cl is determined to be 12.3 ± 0.2 eV, leading to a value for the adiabatic ionisation energy for the SF\(_5\) radical of 9.92 ± 0.28 eV. The electron-induced experiment is sensitive to ion-pair production, and onsets for F\(^+\) and Cl\(^+\) production have been observed which are only possible energetically if the accompanying fragments are the anions SF\(_4\)Cl\(^-\) and SF\(_5^-\), respectively. A lower limit for the electron affinity of the SF\(_4\)Cl radical of 4.88 eV is determined, a value confirmed by ab initio calculations. The electron-induced experiment is very sensitive to gas impurities, and the effects of minute quantities of SF\(_4\), FCl, Cl\(_2\) and possibly SF\(_2\) in the gas sample are observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-217
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2007


  • SF5Cl
  • electron ionisation
  • photoionisation
  • appearance thresholds
  • threshold photoelectron and coincidence spectroscopy


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