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Where a particular molecule ionizes (insofar as ionization can be
considered localized) determines in part where and how decomposition
occurs. For example:
Not all decomposition reactions occur at the charge site, but
the charge site influences the site of reaction.
- Non-bonding nitrogen electrons in amines have small ionization energies;
a small ionization energy implies that more of the incident electron
collision energy is available to energize the molecule for decomposition.
The mass spectra of amines often lack molecular ion signals.
- Amines commonly undergo the so-called cleavage that produces
characteristic ions. Ionization at a nitrogen site (in an amine) therefore
results in a pattern in the mass spectrum.
John S. Riley, DSB Scientific Consulting