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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An atmospheric pressure chemical ionization study of the positive and negative ion chemistry of the hydrofluorocarbons 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a) and 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134a) and of perfluoro-n-hexane (FC-72) in air plasma at atmospheric pressure.

A report is given on the ionization/dissociation behavior of the title compounds within air plasmas produced by electrical corona discharges at atmospheric pressure: both positive and negative ions were investigated at different temperatures using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (APCI-MS). CHF(2)CH(3) (HFC-152a) undergoes efficient ionic oxidation to C(2)H(5)O(+), in which the oxygen comes from water present in the plasma. In contrast, CF(3)CH(2)F (HFC-134a) does not produce any characteristic positive ion under APCI conditions, its presence within the plasma being revealed only as a neutral ligand in ion-molecule complexes with ions of the background (H(3)O(+) and NO(+)). Analogously, the perfluorocarbon FC-72 (n-C(6)F(14)) does not produce significant positive ions at 30 degrees C: at high temperature, however, it undergoes dissociative ionization to form many product ions including C(3)F(6)(+), C(2)F(4)(+), C(n)F(2n+1)(+) and a few families of oxygen containing cations (C(n)F(2n+1)OH(2)(+), C(n)F(2n)OH(+), C(n)F(2n-1)O(+), C(n)F(2n-1)O(2)H(2)(+), C(n)F(2n-2)O(2)H(+)) which are suggested to derive from C(n)F(2n+1)(+) in a cascade of steps initiated by condensation with water followed by steps of HF elimination and H(2)O addition. Negative ions formed from the fluoroethanes CHF(2)CH(3) and CF(3)CH(2)F (M) include complexes with ions of the background, O(2)(-)(M), O(3)(-)(M) and some higher complexes involving also water, and complexes of the fluoride ion, F(-)(H(2)O), F(-)(M) and higher complexes with both M and H(2)O also together. The interesting product O(2)(-)(HF) is also formed from 1,1-difluoroethane. In contrast to the HFCs, perfluoro-n-hexane gives stable molecular anions, M(-), which at low source temperature or in humidified air are also detected as hydrates, M(-)(H(2)O). In addition, in humidified air F(-)(H(2)O)(n) complexes are also formed. The reactions leading to all major positive and negative product ions are discussed also with reference to available thermochemical data and relevant literature reports. The effects on both positive and negative APCI spectra due to ion activation via increasing V(cone) are also reported and discussed: several interesting endothermic processes are observed under these conditions. The results provide important information on the role of ionic reactions in non-thermal plasma processes.[1]


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