Soft X-Ray radiation (about 100 to 100000 eV, 12 to 0.012 nm) is capable of ionizing and exciting the 1s electrons of molecules. This produces highly excited molecules (>10000 kJ/mol), which can emit a large part of the energy through the “Auger-Meitner effect”. Here, a valence electron fills the vacancy in the 1s orbital and transfers the released energy to another valence electron, which gets ionized. These auger electrons can be detected to infer information about the electronic structure of the molecule. We conduct experiments at the Synchrotron SOLEIL to detect these electrons as well as the produced cationic molecules. This project aims to investigate unstable molecules like Isocyanic acid, HNCO, and Fulminic acid, HCNO. These molecules have astrochemical relevance and may also play a role in the formation of the first prebiotic molecules.
1. Marius Gerlach, Felipe Fantuzzi, Lilith Wohlfart, Karina Kopp, Bernd Engels, John Bozek, Christophe Nicolas, Dennis Mayer, Markus Gühr, Fabian Holzmeier, Ingo Fischer
Fragmentation of isocyanic acid, HNCO, following core excitation and ionization
J. Chem. Phys. 154, 114302 (2021)
2. F. Holzmeier, T. J. A. Wolf, C. Gienger, I. Wagner, J. Bozek, S. Nandi, C. Nicolas, I. Fischer, M. Gühr, R. F. Fink
Normal and resonant Auger spectroscopy of isocyanic acid, HNCO
J. Chem. Phys. 149, 034308 (2018)