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In general, ionization occurs at the molecular orbitals that have
the smallest ionization energies. Often, ionization is not a localized
event (in the molecule orbital theory), but many straightforward mechanisms
of MI decomposition begin with a localized charge site.
- Non-bonding electrons (also called 'lone pair' electrons), present
in N, O and S atoms for example, often have small ionization energies.
Mechanisms often begin with these electronegative atoms having the
- Valence electrons generally have smaller ionization energies
than electrons for most organic compounds. Electron rich
regions with relatively small ionization energies, such as aromatic
rings, represent a reasonable site to place the initial charge in
- We are concerned virtually entirely with the removal of valence electrons,
not core electrons.
John S. Riley, DSB Scientific Consulting