Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Probing elusive cations: infrared spectroscopy of protonated acetic acid

Davies, Julia A.; Besley, Nicholas A.; Yang, Shengfu; Ellis, Andrew M.

Authors

Julia A. Davies

Nicholas A. Besley

Shengfu Yang

Andrew M. Ellis



Abstract

Protonated carboxylic acids, (RCOOH)H+, are the initial intermediates in acid-catalyzed (Fischer) esterification reactions. However the identity of the isomeric form is under debate. Surprisingly, no optical spectra have been reported for any isomer of the protonated carboxylic acid monomer, despite it being a fundamental organic cation. Here, we address these issues by using a new approach to prepare cold He-tagged cations of protonated acetic acid (AA), which entails electron ionization of helium nanodroplets containing metastable dimers of AA. The protonated species is subsequently probed using infrared photodissociation spectroscopy and, following a comparison with calculations, we identify the two isomers whose roles are debated in Fischer esterification. These are the carbonyl-protonated E,Z isomer and the metastable hydroxyl-protonated isomer. Our technique provides a novel approach that can be applied to other elusive ionic species.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 11, 2019
Journal The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Print ISSN 1948-7185
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Pages 2108-2112
APA6 Citation Davies, J. A., Besley, N. A., Yang, S., & Ellis, A. M. (2019). Probing elusive cations: infrared spectroscopy of protonated acetic acid. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 10, 2108-2112. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b00767
DOI https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b00767
Keywords General Materials Science
Publisher URL https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b00767
Additional Information This document is the unedited Author’s version of a submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see https://pubs.acs.org/do...021/acs.jpclett.9b00767

Files

This file is under embargo until Apr 12, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.




Downloadable Citations