Collisions of N+ and N2+ with C3 hydrocarbons, represented by a self assembled monolayer of propanethiol on a polcrystalline gold surface, were investigated by experiments over the incident energy range between 5 eV and 100 eV. For N+, formation of HCN+ is observed at incident energies of projectile ions as low as 20 eV. In the case of N2+ projectile ions, the yield of HCN+ increased above zero only at incident energies of about 50 eV. This collision energy in the laboratory frame corresponds to an activation energy of about 3 eV to 3.5 eV. In the case of N+ projectile ions, the yield of HCN+ was large for most of the incident energy range, but decreased to zero at incident energies below 20 eV. This may indicate a very small energy threshold for the surface reaction between N+ and C3 hydrocarbons of a few tenths of an eV. Such a threshold for the formation of HCN+ may exist also for collisions of N+ with an adsorbed mixture of hydrocarbon molecules.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Festschrift for Peter Toennies - New Horizons in the Dynamics of Molecules: from Gases to Surfaces