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The absolute cross sections (CSs) for vibrational excitations of cytosine by electron impact between 0.5 and 18 eV were measured by electron-energy loss (EEL) spectroscopy of the molecule deposited at monolayer coverage on an inert Ar substrate. The vibrational energies compare to those that have been reported from IR spectroscopy of cytosine isolated in Ar matrix, IR and Raman spectra of polycrystalline cytosine, and ab initio calculation. The CSs for the various H bending modes at 142 and 160 meV are both rising from their energy threshold up to 1.7 and 2.1 × 10(-17) cm(2) at about 4 eV, respectively, and then decrease moderately while maintaining some intensity at 18 eV. The latter trend is displayed as well for the CS assigned to the NH(2) scissor along with bending of all H at 179 meV. This overall behavior in electron-molecule collision is attributed to direct processes such as the dipole, quadrupole, and polarization contributions, etc. of the interaction of the incident electron with a molecule. The CSs for the ring deformation at 61 meV, the ring deformation with N-H symmetric wag at 77 meV, and the ring deformations with symmetric bending of all H at 119 meV exhibit common enhancement maxima at 1.5, 3.5, and 5.5 eV followed by a broad hump at about 12 eV, which are superimposed on the contribution due to the direct processes. At 3.5 eV, the CS values for the 61-, 77-, and 119-meV modes reach 4.0, 3.0, and 4.5 × 10(-17) cm(2), respectively. The CS for the C-C and C-O stretches at 202 meV, which dominates in the intermediate EEL region, rises sharply until 1.5 eV, reaches its maximum of 5.7 × 10(-17) cm(2) at 3.5 eV and then decreases toward 18 eV. The present vibrational enhancements, correspond to the features found around 1.5 and 4.5 eV in electron transmission spectroscopy (ETS) and those lying within 1.5-2.1 eV, 5.2-6.8 eV, and 9.5-10.9 eV range in dissociative electron attachment (DEA) experiments with cytosine in gas phase. While the ETS features are ascribed to shape resonances associated with the electron occupation of the second and third antibonding π-orbitals of the molecule in its ground state, the correspondence with DEA features suggests the existence of common precursor anion states decaying with certain probabilities into the vibrationally excited ground state.


M Michaud, M Bazin, L Sanche. Absolute cross sections for vibrational excitations of cytosine by low energy electron impact. The Journal of chemical physics. 2012 Sep 21;137(11):115103

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PMID: 22998289

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