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Selective bond scission in formic acid by low-energy electrons

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We report recent results of mass-resolved anion fragment momentum imaging experiments to investigate dissociative electron attachment to formic acid, for incident energies between 5 eV and 9 eV. A remarkable site-selectivity is found for a resonance at 8.5 eV by comparing anion fragment yields for two deuterated isotopologues of formic acid. This results in an H- fragment from the O-H bond of the transient anion, with negligible contribution from C-H break. In contrast, a lower-energy resonance at 7.1 eV dissociates by C-H or O-H break to produce H- and the neutral radicals HOCO or HCOO.

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