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Issue 46, 2008
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Excision of CN and OCN from acetamide and some amide derivatives triggered by low energy electrons

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Abstract

Low energy electron attachment to acetamide and some of its derivatives shows unique features in that the unimolecular reactions of the transient anions are remarkably complex, involving multiple bond cleavages and the formation of new molecules. Each of the three compounds acetamide (CH3C(O)NH2), glycolamide (CH2OHC(O)NH2) and cyanoacetamide (CH2CNC(O)NH2) shows a pronounced resonance located near 2 eV and decomposing into CN along a concerted reaction forming a neutral H2O molecule and the corresponding radical (methyl and methoxy). From glycolamide an additional reaction pathway resulting in the loss of water is operative, in this case generating two fragments and observable via the complementary anion (M–H2O). The pseudohalogen OCN is formed at comparatively lower intensity having a specific energy profile for each of the target molecules. In dibromocyanoacetamide (CBr2CNC(O)NH2) the situation changes completely as now comparatively intense CN and OCN signals appear already near zero eV. Electronic structure calculations predict that in dibromocyanoacetamide the extra electron resides in a molecular orbital (MO) which is strongly localized at the Br sites. For the other compounds, the relevant MOs are appreciably delocalized showing π*C=O character.

Graphical abstract: Excision of CN− and OCN− from acetamide and some amide derivatives triggered by low energy electrons

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jul 2008, accepted on 02 Sep 2008 and first published on 14 Oct 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B812130C
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008,10, 6954-6961

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    Excision of CN and OCN from acetamide and some amide derivatives triggered by low energy electrons

    C. Koenig-Lehmann, J. Kopyra, I. Dąbkowska, J. Kočišek and E. Illenberger, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008, 10, 6954
    DOI: 10.1039/B812130C

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