“We choose C6F6 as a model molecule to investigate the reactions of multiply charged molecular cations formed in intense femto-second laser fields employing time-of-flight mass spectrometry…” This and more about the story behind the front cover can be found in the Article at 10.1002/cphc.202000021.
The front cover artwork is provided by the group of Prof. Tomoyuki Yatsuhashi (Osaka City University) as well as Dr. Akimasa Fujihara (Osaka Prefecture University). The image shows that the potential energy of a product ion formed by metastable ion dissociation can be larger than that of a multiply charged precursor ion. Read the full text of the Article at 10.1002/cphc.202000021.
What is the most significant result of this study?
We present a viable alternate strategy to solve the problem when using a reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer, namely, that a part of information about product ions of multiply charged precursor ion is lost.
What prompted you to investigate this problem?
We want to clarify the charge-dependent reactions of multiply charged ion such as the diiodoacetylene tetracation, the smallest organic tetracation ever reported to date (see Yatsuhashi et al. ChemPhysChem 2016, 17, 2977). We initially tried to analyse product ions of a multiply charged ion by an ordinal procedure using an ion gate and a reflectron. We constructed the Bradbury–Nielsen ion gate that is capable to select a single isotope of Xe6+ (gate function is 36.5 ns, fwhm) (see Kitashoji and Yoshikawa et al. ChemPhysChem 2017, 18, 2007). Since we cannot observe the product ions of C6F6 by using this approach, we realized that different analytical strategy is necessary.
Did serendipity play a part in this work?
Once we tried to detect neutral fragments passed through the reflectron as in the case of MALDI and did not only observe neutral but also ionic species. We consulted the textbooks of mass spectrometry, but textbooks solve the equation of energy conservation law only for the mass of ions. Solving the equation for mass and charge, very simple mathematics led us to understand the origin of the ionic species.
What other topics are you working on at the moment?
Yatsuhashi is interested in femtosecond laser-induced chemical reactions in gas, liquid, and solid phases. We reported production of a variety of nanoparticles from organic molecules, see for example Okamoto et al. ChemPhysChem 2017, 18, 1007 and 2018, 19, 2480.
The present research was partially supported by JST PRESTO program and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP26107002 in Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Photosynergetics.”