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Keywords:

  • arenes ;
  • aromatic substitution;
  • carbocations;
  • IR spectroscopy;
  • polycycles
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Fingerprinting: The IR spectrum of protonated naphthalene, the smallest member of the class of protonated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), has identified the Cα atom as the preferred protonation site of the isolated molecule (see the figure; IRMPD: infrared multiple-photon dissociation). Significant deviations from the corresponding IR spectrum of protonated benzene demonstrate the large impact of additional aromatic rings on the IR fingerprint of protonated PAHs.