Absolute photoionization cross-section of the methyl radical

Craig A. Taatjes, David L. Osborn, Talitha M. Selby, Giovanni Meloni, Haiyan Fan, Stephen T. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The absolute photoionization cross-section of the methyl radical has been measured using two completely independent methods. The CH3 photoionization cross-section was determined relative to that of acetone and methyl vinyl ketone at photon energies of 10.2 and 11.0 eV by using a pulsed laser-photolysis/time-resolved synchrotron photoionization mass spectrometry method. The time-resolved depletion of the acetone or methyl vinyl ketone precursor and the production of methyl radicals following 193 nm photolysis are monitored simultaneously by using time-resolved synchrotron photoionization mass spectrometry. Comparison of the initial methyl signal with the decrease in precursor signal, in combination with previously measured absolute photoionization cross-sections of the precursors, yields the absolute photoionization cross-section of the methyl radical; σCH3(10.2 eV) = (5.7 ± 0.9) × 10-18 cm2 and σCH3(11.0 eV) = (6.0 ±2.0) × 10-18 cm2. The photoionization cross-section for vinyl radical determined by photolysis of methyl vinyl ketone is in good agreement with previous measurements. The methyl radical photoionization cross-section was also independently measured relative to that of the iodine atom by comparison of ionization signals from CH3 and I fragments following 266 nm photolysis of methyl iodide in a molecular-beam ion-imaging apparatus. These measurements gave a cross-section of (5.4 ± 2.0) × 10-18 cm2 at 10.460 eV, (5.5 ± 2.0) × 10-18 cm2 at 10.466 eV, and (4.9 ± 2.0) × 10-18 cm2 at 10.471 eV. The measurements allow relative photoionization efficiency spectra of methyl radical to be placed on an absolute scale and will facilitate quantitative measurements of methyl concentrations by photoionization mass spectrometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9336-9343
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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