Elusive sulfurous acid: Gas-phase basicity and IR signature of the protonated species

Rajeev K. Sinha, Debora Scuderi, Philippe Maitre, Barbara Chiavarino, Maria Elisa Crestoni, Simonetta Fornarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The ion corresponding to protonated sulfurous acid, H3SO3+, has been successfully delivered into the gas phase by electrospray ionization of the solution of a suitable precursor and an in-source fragmentation process. The neutral acid is a highly elusive molecule. However, its gas-phase basicity has been ascertained by means of a kinetic study of proton-transfer reactivity. The structure of the H3SO3+ sampled ion has been probed by IRMPD spectroscopy in two complementary IR frequency ranges in conjunction with density functional theory calculations and found to conform to a trihydroxosulfonium ion. The characteristic IR signatures may aid in deciphering the presence of this species in extraterrestrial atmospheres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1610
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 07-05-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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