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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Selective bond-breaking in formic acid by dissociative electron attachment.

  • Author(s): Slaughter, DS
  • Weber, Th
  • Belkacem, A
  • Trevisan, CS
  • Lucchese, RR
  • McCurdy, CW
  • Rescigno, TN
  • et al.

We report the results of a joint experimental and theoretical study of dissociative electron attachment to formic acid (HCOOH) in the 6-9 eV region, where H- fragment ions are a dominant product. Breaking of the C-H and O-H bonds is distinguished experimentally by deuteration of either site. We show that in this region H- ions can be produced by formation of two or possibly three Feshbach resonance (doubly-excited anion) states, one of which leads to either C-H or O-H bond scission, while the other can only produce formyloxyl radicals by O-H bond scission. Comparison of experimental and theoretical angular distributions of the anion fragment allows the elucidation of state specific pathways to dissociation.

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