Collision cross section calculations for polyatomic ions considering rotating diatomic/linear gas molecules

Carlos Larriba-Andaluz, Christopher J. Hogan

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Structural characterization of ions in the gas phase is facilitated by measurement of ion collision cross sections (CCS) using techniques such as ion mobility spectrometry. Further information is gained from CCS measurement when comparison is made between measurements and accurately predicted CCSs for model ion structures and the gas in which measurements are made. While diatomic gases, namely molecular nitrogen and air, are being used in CCS measurement with increasingly prevalency, the majority of studies in which measurements are compared to predictions use models in which gas molecules are spherical or non-rotating, which is not necessarily appropriate for diatomic gases. Here, we adapt a momentum transfer based CCS calculation approach to consider rotating, diatomic gas molecule collisions with polyatomic ions, and compare CCS predictions with a diatomic gas molecule to those made with a spherical gas molecular for model spherical ions, tetra-alkylammonium ions, and multiply charged polyethylene glycol ions. CCS calculations are performed using both specular-elastic and diffuse-inelastic collisions rules, which mimic negligible internal energy exchange and complete thermal accommodation, respectively, between gas molecule and ion. The influence of the long range ion-induced dipole potential on calculations is also examined with both gas molecule models. In large part we find that CCSs calculated with specular-elastic collision rules decrease, while they increase with diffuse-inelastic collision rules when using diatomic gas molecules. Results clearly show the structural model of both the ion and gas molecule, the potential energy field between ion and gas molecule, and finally the modeled degree of kinetic energy exchange between ion and gas molecule internal energy are coupled to one another in CCS calculations, and must be considered carefully to obtain results which agree with measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194107
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 21 2014

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