Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sensing the ortho Positions in C6Cl6 and C6H4Cl2 from Cl2− Formation upon Molecular Reduction


The geometrical effect of chlorine atom positions in polyatomic molecules after capturing a low-energy electron is shown to be a prevalent mechanism yielding Cl2-. In this work, we investigated hexachlorobenzene reduction in electron transfer experiments to determine the role of chlorine atom positions around the aromatic ring, and compared our results with those using ortho-, meta- and para-dichlorobenzene molecules. This was achieved by combining gas-phase experiments to determine the reaction threshold by means of mass spectrometry together with quantum chemical calculations. We also observed that Cl2- formation can only occur in 1,2-C6H4Cl2, where the two closest C-Cl bonds are cleaved while the chlorine atoms are brought together within the ring framework due to excess energy dissipation. These results show that a strong coupling between electronic and C-Cl bending motion is responsible for a positional isomeric effect, where molecular recognition is a determining factor in chlorine anion formation.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View