We have investigated the photoionization and photodissociation of free coronene cations C24H12+ upon soft X-ray photoabsorption in the carbon K-edge region by means of a time-of-flight mass spectrometry approach. Core excitation into an unoccupied molecular orbital (below threshold) and core ionization into the continuum both leave a C 1s vacancy, that is subsequently filled in an Auger-type process. The resulting coronene dications and trications are internally excited and cool down predominantly by means of hydrogen emission. Density functional theory was employed to determine the dissociation energies for subsequent neutral hydrogen loss. A statistical cascade model incorporating these dissociation energies agrees well with the experimentally observed dehydrogenation. For double ionization, i.e., formation of intermediate C24H123+star trications, the experimental data hint at loss of H+ ions. This asymmetric fission channel is associated with hot intermediates, whereas colder intermediates predominantly decay via neutral H loss. (C) 2015 IP Publishing LLC.
- POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS
- ASTROPHYSICAL IMPLICATIONS