Size-dependent metamorphosis of electron binding motif in cluster anions of primary amide molecules

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Electron binding motifs in cluster anions of primary amides, (acetamide) n - and (propionamide) n -, were studied with photoelectron spectroscopy. For both the amides, two band series due to distinct isomeric species in the multipole-bound states were found in the low electron binding energy region (<∼0.4 eV) of the photoelectron spectra at the excitation wavelength of 1064 nm. In the case of acetamide, the isomer of higher band peak energies is predominant for 6≤ n ≤ 8, but it vanishes completely for n ≥ 9 to be replaced with the lower energy isomer. The same spectral behavior was seen for propionamide exhibiting an exception at n = 7. The isomers appearing in the lower and higher energy sides were attributed to the straight and folded forms of ladder-like hydrogen bond network structures, respectively, on the basis of density functional calculations. In the folded forms, the excess electron is held in the space between two terminal amide molecules of the ladder-like networks. Referring to calculations of potential energy curves with respect to the folding coordinate of the ladder-like networks, it is inferred that the major isomer alternation between n = 8 and 9 originates from an increase of stiffness of the molecular ladders depending on the cluster sizes. In photoelectron spectra at the 355 nm excitation, the valence anion state having a band peak around 2.5 eV was observed to emerge with threshold sizes of n = 13 and 9 for acetamide and propionamide, respectively. Static and dynamical effects of alkyl groups on the electron binding motifs are discussed in comparison with the previous study on formamide cluster anions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3771-3780
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 19


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