Malick Diedhiou, Brandi J. West, Paul M Mayer
Hydrogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been proposed to contribute to the formation of interstellar H2 by acting as a surface catalyst for the adsorption of hydrogen atoms and desorption of H2 molecules. In the present study, imaging photoelectron photoion coincidence (iPEPICO) spectroscopy and tandem mass spectrometry were employed to examine the unimolecular chemistry of four hydrogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ions: 9,10-dihydroanthracene (DHA+•) and 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydroanthracene (OHA+•), having opposite patterns of hydrogenation, and 1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene (THP+•) and 1,2,3,4,9,10-hexahydrophenanthrene (HHP+•). DHA+• exhibits the same reactions previously observed for 1,2-dihydronaphthalene and 9,10-dihydrophenanthrene, namely competing loss of H• and CH3•. However, the energy required for H•-loss, as predicted by RRKM modeling of the iPEPICO results, was lower than the latter ions, presumably due to charge delocalization across the central ring upon dehydrogenation. OHA+• behaves similarly to ionized tetralin, displaying losses of H•, CH3•, C2H4 and C3H5• in its collision induced dissociation (CID) mass spectra, but under iPEPICO conditions CH3•-loss is not observed. THP+• and HHP+• have aspects of both DHA+• and OHA+• chemistries, displaying losses of H•, CH3•, C2H4 and C3H5•. RRKM modeling produced minimum energies for all observed reaction channels, which were also computationally explored at the B3LYP/6–31+G(d,p) level of theory. The results indicate that small PAH ions may not be effective surfaces for the catalytic formation of H2 in the ISM, but rather sources of small hydrocarbons.
Molecular Astrophysics, Volume 19, June 2020, 100071
Full-text URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405675820300099#!