US Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Published in J. Am. Chem. Soc. No. 123, 10729-10737, 2001.


High-resolution carbon 1s photoelectron spectroscopy of propyne (HC=CH3) shows a spectrum in which the contributions from the three chemically inequivalent carbons are clearly resolved and marked by distinct vibrational structure. This structure is well accounted for by ab initio theory. For 3,3,3-trifluoropropyne (HC=CF3) and ethynylsulfur pentafluoride (HC=SF5), the ethynyl carbons show only a broad structure and have energies that differ only slightly from one another. The core-ionization energies can be qualitatively understood in terms of conventional resonance structures; the vibrational broadening for the fluorinated compounds can be understood in terms of the effects of the electronegative fluorines on the charge distribution. Combining the experimental results with gas-phase acidities and with ab initio calculations provides insights into the effects of initial-state charge distribution and final-state charge redistribution on ionization energies and acidities. In particular, these considerations make it possible to understand the apparent paradox that SF5 and CF3 have much larger electronegativity effects on acidity than they have on carbon 1s ionization energies.