Electron Driven Reactions in Tetrafluoroethane: Positive and Negative Ion Formation

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In the search for alternatives to chlorine-containing gases, tetrafluoroethane, CF3CH2F (R134a), a widely used refrigerant gas, has been recognized as a promising substitute for dichlorodifluoromethane, CCl2F2 (R12). When R12 is replaced by R134a, the global warming potential drops from 8100 to 1430, the ozone depletion potential changes from 1 to 0, and the atmospheric lifetime decreases from 100 to 14 years. Electron interactions in the gas phase play a fundamental role in the atmospheric sciences. Here, we present a detailed study on electron-driven fragmentation pathways of CF3CH2F, in which we have investigated processes induced by both electron ionization and electron attachment. The measurements allow us to report the ion efficiency curves for ion formation in the energy range of 0 up to 25 eV. For positive ion formation, R134a dissociates into a wide assortment of ions, in which CF3+ is observed as the most abundant out of seven ions with a relative intensity above 2%. The results are supported by quantum chemical calculations based on bound state techniques, electron-impact ionization models, and electron-molecule scattering simulations, showing a good agreement. Moreover, the experimental first ionization potential was found at 13.10 ± 0.17 eV and the second at around 14.25 eV. For negative ion formation, C2F3- was detected as the only anion formed, above 8.3 eV. This study demonstrates the role of electrons in the dissociation of R134a, which is relevant for an improvement of the refrigeration processes as well as in atmospheric chemistry and plasma sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1468
Number of pages10
JournalJournal Of The American Society For Mass Spectrometry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021


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