Penning ionization

Penning Ionization

Penning ionization

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Penning ionization is a form of chemi-ionization, an ionization process involving reactions between neutral atoms and/or molecules. The process is named after the Dutch physicist Frans Michel Penning who first reported it in 1927.Penning, F. M. Die Naturwissenschaften, 1927, 15, 818. Über Ionisation durch metastabile Atome.

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Penning ionization refers to the interaction between a gas-phase excited-state atom or molecule G<sup>*</sup> and a target molecule M resulting in the formation of a radical molecular cation M<sup>+.</sup>, an electron e<sup>−</sup>, and a neutral gas molecule G:

<math>G^* + M to M^ + e^- + G</math>


Penning ionization occurs when the target molecule has an ionization potential lower than the internal energy of the excited-state atom or molecule. Associative Penning ionization can also occur:

<math>G^* + M to MG^ + e^-</math>


Surface Penning ionization refers to the interaction of the excited-state gas with a surface S, resulting in the release of an electron.

<math>G^* + S to G + S + e^-</math>


(The positive charge symbol <math>S^+</math> that would appear to be required for charge conservation is omitted, because S is a macroscopic surface and the loss of one electron has a negligible effect.)

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