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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tunable wavelength soft photoionization of ionic liquid vapors


Combined data of photoelectron spectra and photoionization efficiency curves in the near threshold ionization region of isolated ion-pairs from [emim][Tf2N], [emim][Pf2N] and [dmpim][Tf2N] ionic liquid vapors reveal small shifts in the ionization energies of ion-pair systems due to cation and anion substitutions. Shifts towards higher binding energy following anion substitution are attributed to increased electronegativity of the anion itself, while shifts towards lower binding energies following cation substitution are attributed to an increase in the cation-anion distance that causes a lower Coulombic binding potential. The predominant ionization mechanism in the near threshold photon energy region is identified as dissociative ionization, involving dissociation of the ion-pair and the production of intact cations as the positively charged products.

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