Inner electrons behave differently in aromatic hydrocarbons

April 11, 2019

When an electron from one of the lower energy levels in an atom is knocked out of the atom by a collision with another electron, it creates a space into which one of the higher-energy electrons can fall, also releasing excess energy. This energy is released in an electron called an Auger electron--and produces an effect known as Auger decay. Now, Guoke Zhao from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and colleagues at Sorbonne University in Paris, France have studied the Auger effect in four hydrocarbon molecules, including benzene, cyclohexane, and larger hydrocarbons. All of the molecules studied were aromatic, i.e., contained benzene rings with pi bonds, in which atoms that are next to each other share electrons. They found that molecules containing a benzene ring have a lower threshold for Auger decay. Applications include a treatment called Auger therapy, which is used to help cancer patients.

Auger decay often involves atoms being subjected to high-energy X-rays, and can be used to study the identity of atoms within a substance. But the Auger effect has yet to be thoroughly studied in certain molecules that are important in everyday life, particularly hydrocarbons.

In this study, the researchers studied the Auger spectra of molecules using computational models. They found that molecules with pi electrons have a lower threshold before Auger decay occurs than molecules without them. The authors hope their work will encourage further theoretical and experimental investigations in this direction.
-end-
References

G. Zhao, T. Miteva, N. Sisourat (2019) Inner-valence Auger decay in hydrocarbon molecules, European Physical Journal D 73: 69, DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2019-90529-x

Springer

Related Hydrocarbons Articles from Brightsurf:

Room temperature conversion of CO2 to CO: A new way to synthesize hydrocarbons
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their colleagues have demonstrated a room-temperature method that could significantly reduce carbon dioxide levels in fossil-fuel power plant exhaust, one of the main sources of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

A new synthesis method for three-dimensional nanocarbons
A Nagoya University team has developed a new method of synthesis for three-dimensional nanocarbons, utilizing a catalytic reaction to connect benzene rings and create an eight-membered ring structure.

Melting properties determine biological functions of cuticular hydrocarbon layer of ants
The bodies of ants are covered with wax-like substances known as cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) that serve communication as well as protection against desiccation.

Newly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutants
Cornell University researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria that is particularly adept at breaking down organic matter, including the cancer-causing chemicals that are released when coal, gas, oil and refuse are burned.

The catalyst that removes CO2 and produces hydrocarbons
Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis, but if CO2 is also added to the mixture, compounds can be generated to make textiles, diapers and even spirits.

The power of going small: Copper oxide subnanoparticle catalysts prove most superior
Scientists at Tokyo Tech have shown that copper oxide particles on the sub-nanoscale are more powerful catalysts than those on the nanoscale.

All-in-one: New microbe degrades oil to gas
The tiny organisms cling to oil droplets and perform a great feat: As a single organism, they may produce methane from oil by a process called alkane disproportionation.

US military consumes more hydrocarbons than most countries -- massive hidden impact on climate
Research by social scientists from Durham University and Lancaster University shows the US military is one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries.

Efficiently producing fatty acids and biofuels from glucose
Researchers have presented a new strategy for efficiently producing fatty acids and biofuels that can transform glucose and oleaginous microorganisms into microbial diesel fuel, with one-step direct fermentative production.

Inner electrons behave differently in aromatic hydrocarbons
In an international research collaboration between Tsinghua University in Beijing and Sorbonne University in Paris, scientists found that four hydrocarbon molecules, known for their internal ring structure, have a lower threshold for the release of excess energy than molecules without a similar ring structure, because one of their electrons decays from a higher to a lower energy level, a phenomenon called the Auger effect.

Read More: Hydrocarbons News and Hydrocarbons Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.