Ion-induced molecular growth in clusters of small hydrocarbon chains
We report on studies of collisions between 3 keV Ar+ projectile ions and neutral targets of isolated 1,3-butadiene (C4H6) molecules and cold, loosely bound clusters of these molecules. We identify molecular growth processes within the molecular clusters that appears to be driven by knockout processes and that could result in the formation of (aromatic) ring structures. These types of reactions are not unique to specific projectile ions and target molecules, but will occur whenever atoms or ions with suitable masses and kinetic energies collide with aggregates of matter, such as carbonaceous grains in the interstellar medium or aerosol nanoparticles in the atmosphere.
- This article is part of the themed collection: XUV/X-ray light and fast ions for ultrafast chemistry