Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

Multiphoton dissociation/ionization of CHCl3 and CFCl3 at 355 nm: an experimental and theoretical study.

PMID 15386631


Nonresonant laser-induced multiphoton dissociation/ionization studies have been conducted for trichloromethane (CHCl3) and trichlorofluoromethane (CFCl3) at 355 nm, using time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). The molecular ion signal was found to be missing for both these compounds, and very similar fragmentation patterns were observed. Ab initio molecular electronic structure calculations were performed to help understand the fragmentation pattern of these molecules in the laser field. The energetics of different dissociation channels in the ground states of [CHCl3]+*, [CHCl2]+, [CFCl3]+* and [CFCl2]+, as well as neutral CHCl3, CHCl2*, CFCl3 and CFCl2* systems, were calculated. On comparing theoretical results with experimentally observed ion signals and their relative abundances in TOFMS, it is inferred that these molecules undergo sequential Cl atom elimination followed by photoionization of the fragments. The absence of [CFCl]+ has been interpreted on the basis of resonant A state-mediated two-photon absorption by CFCl, and the subsequent prompt photodissociation processes occurring for this state.