Anion-Anion Chemistry with Mass-Selected Molecular Fragments on Surfaces

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 Nov 15;60(47):24910-24914. doi: 10.1002/anie.202109249. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


While reactions between ions and neutral molecules in the gas phase have been studied extensively, reactions between molecular ions of same polarity remain relatively unexplored. Herein we show that reactions between fragment ions generated in the gas phase and molecular ions of the same polarity are possible by soft-landing of both reagents on surfaces. The reactive [B12 I11 ]1- anion was deposited on a surface layer built up by landing the generally unreactive [B12 I12 ]2- . Ex-situ analysis of the generated material shows that [B24 I23 ]3- was formed. A computational study shows that the product is metastable in the gas phase, but a charge-balanced environment of a grounded surface may stabilize the triply charged product, as suggested by model calculations. This opens new opportunities for the generation of highly charged clusters using unconventional building blocks from the gas phase.

Keywords: anion-anion reaction; dodecaborate anion; electrophilic anion; interface reaction; ion soft-landing.