PubMed 24654892

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.3

Title: VUV photodynamics and chiral asymmetry in the photoionization of gas phase alanine enantiomers.

Authors: Maurice Tia, Barbara Cunha de Miranda, Steven Daly, François Gaie-Levrel, Gustavo A Garcia, Laurent Nahon, Ivan Powis

Journal, date & volume: J Phys Chem A, 2014 Apr 17 , 118, 2765-79

PubMed link:

The valence shell photoionization of the simplest proteinaceous chiral amino acid, alanine, is investigated over the vacuum ultraviolet region from its ionization threshold up to 18 eV. Tunable and variable polarization synchrotron radiation was coupled to a double imaging photoelectron/photoion coincidence (i(2)PEPICO) spectrometer to produce mass-selected threshold photoelectron spectra and derive the state-selected fragmentation channels. The photoelectron circular dichroism (PECD), an orbital-sensitive, conformer-dependent chiroptical effect, was also recorded at various photon energies and compared to continuum multiple scattering calculations. Two complementary vaporization methods-aerosol thermodesorption and a resistively heated sample oven coupled to an adiabatic expansion-were applied to promote pure enantiomers of alanine into the gas phase, yielding neutral alanine with different internal energy distributions. A comparison of the photoelectron spectroscopy, fragmentation, and dichroism measured for each of the vaporization methods was rationalized in terms of internal energy and conformer populations and supported by theoretical calculations. The analytical potential of the so-called PECD-PICO detection technique-where the electron spectroscopy and circular dichroism can be obtained as a function of mass and ion translational energy-is underlined and applied to characterize the origin of the various species found in the experimental mass spectra. Finally, the PECD findings are discussed within an astrochemical context, and possible implications regarding the origin of biomolecular asymmetry are identified.