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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)