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Issue 43, 2008
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Photochemistry of ethyl chloride caged in amorphous solid water

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Caging and photo-induced decomposition of ethyl chloride molecules (EC) within a layer of amorphous solid water (ASW) on top of clean and oxygen-covered Ru(001) under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions are presented. The caged molecules were estimated to reside 1.5 ± 0.2 nm above the solid surface, based on parent molecule thermal decomposition on the clean ruthenium. Dissociative electron attachment (DEA) of the caged molecules following 193 nm laser irradiation, result in initial fragmentation to ethyl radical and chloride anion. It was found that photoreactivity on top of the clean ruthenium surface (Ru) is twenty times faster than on the oxygen-covered surface (O/Ru), with DEA cross sections: σRu = (3.8 ± 1) × 10−19 cm2 and σO/Ru = (2.1 ± 0.3) × 10−20 cm2. This difference is attributed to the higher work function of oxygen-covered ruthenium, leading to smaller electron attachment probability due to mismatch of the ruthenium photo-electron energy with the adsorbed EC excited electron affinity levels. EC molecules fragmented within the cage, result in post-irradiation TPD spectra that reveal primarily C4H8, C3H5 and C3H3, without any oxygen-containing molecules. Unique stabilization of the photoproducts has been observed with the first layer of water molecules in direct contact with the substrate, desorbing near 180 K, a significantly higher temperature than the desorption of fully caged molecules. This study may contribute for understanding stratospheric photochemistry and processes in interstellar space.

Graphical abstract: Photochemistry of ethyl chloride caged in amorphous solid water

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 May 2008, accepted on 21 Jul 2008 and first published on 23 Sep 2008

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B807803N
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008,10, 6486-6491

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    Photochemistry of ethyl chloride caged in amorphous solid water

    Y. Ayoub and M. Asscher, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008, 10, 6486
    DOI: 10.1039/B807803N

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