Dissociative electron attachment to formamide

Szymanska, E.; Nair, B. G.; Mason, N. J. and Krishnakumar, E. (2012). Dissociative electron attachment to formamide. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 388, article no. 052085.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/388/5/052085


Formamide (HCONH2) is the smallest molecule with a peptide bond and has recently been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM), suggesting that it may be ubiquitous in star-forming regions. There is therefore considerable interest in the mechanisms by which this molecule may form. One method is electron induced chemistry within the icy mantles on the surface of dust grains. In particular it has been recently shown that functional group dependence exists in electron attachment processes giving rise to site selective fragmentation of molecules at the C-H, O-H and N-H bonds at energies well beyond the threshold for the breaking of any of these bonds allowing novel forms of chemistry that have little or no activation barriers, such as are necessary in the ISM. In this poster we present the results of resent studies on dissociative electron attachment (DEA) to formamide DEA using an improved version of a Velocity Map Imaging (VMI) spectrometer comprised of a magnetically collimated and low energy pulsed electron gun, a Faraday cup (to measure the incident current), an effusive molecular beam, a pulsed field ion extraction, a time of flight analyzer and a two-dimensional position sensitive detector consisting of microchannel plate and a phosphor screen. The VMI spectrometer measures the kinetic energy and angular distribution of the fragment anions produced in the dissociative electron attachment process. The kinetic energy measurements provide information on the internal energies of the fragment anions and determine the dissociation limits of the parent negative ion resonant states responsible for the dissociative electron attachment process. The angular distribution measurements provide the information about the symmetry of these negative ion resonant states. We shall present the details, results and conclusions of these measurements during the conference.

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