The origin of enhanced O2+ production from photoionized CO2 clusters

Smita Ganguly, Darío Barreiro, Noelle Walsh, Bart Oostenrijk, Stacey L Sorensen, Sergio Díaz-Tendero, Mathieu Gisselbrecht

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


CO2-rich planetary atmospheres are continuously exposed to ionising radiation driving major photochemical processes. In the Martian atmosphere, CO2 clusters are predicted to exist at high altitudes motivating a deeper understanding of their photochemistry. In this joint experimental-theoretical study, we investigate the photoreactions of CO2 clusters (≤2 nm) induced by soft X-ray ionisation. We observe dramatically enhanced production of O2- from photoionized CO2 clusters compared to the case of the isolated molecule and identify two relevant reactions. Using quantum chemistry calculations and multi-coincidence mass spectrometry, we pinpoint the origin of this enhancement: A size-dependent structural transition of the clusters from a covalently bonded arrangement to a weakly bonded polyhedral geometry that activates an exothermic reaction producing O+2. Our results unambiguously demonstrate that the photochemistry of small clusters/particles will likely have a strong influence on the ion balance in atmospheres.
TidskriftCommunications Chemistry
StatusPublished - 2022 feb. 4

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Teoretisk kemi
  • Atom- och molekylfysik och optik


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