Pulsed-field ionization electron spectroscopy and molecular structures of copper-(pyridine)n (n = 1, 2) complexes

Xu Wang, Bradford R. Sohnlein, Shenggang Li, Jason F. Fuller, Dong Sheng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cu-(pyridine)n (n = 1, 2) complexes are prepared in a pulsed laser ablation cluster source and identified. using laser photoionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. High-resolution electron spectra of these complexes are obtained using pulsed-field ionization zero electron kinetic energy (ZEKE) photoelectron spectroscopy. Metal-pyridine and pyridine-based vibrational modes are identified by comparing the ZEKE spectra with previous spectroscopic studies of isolated pyridine, pyridine adsorbed on metal surfaces, and other Cu complexes. Ground electronic states and molecular structures are determined by comparing the ZEKE spectra with ab initio and multidimensional Franck-Condon factor calculations. Metal-pyridine bond energies of the neutral complexes are derived from the measured ionization energies and thermochemical relations. The mono-ligand complex has C2v symmetry in both the neutral and ionized forms, whereas the di-ligand complex has an eclipsed pyridine configuration with D2h, and C2 symmetries for the ion and neutral species, respectively. Although both the mono- and di-pyridine Cu complexes are formed by Cu binding to nitrogen atoms, important binding differences are found between these two complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Ab initio
  • Copper-pyridine complexes
  • Photoelectron
  • Pulsed-field ionization
  • ZEKE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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