I guess 28 could be CO, C2H4 or N2. However I can't work out a mechanism by which CO could be the first fragmentation of any common organic compound. It seems like a diazonium salt could lose N2 as the first fragmentation but I've reason to believe this is not the unknown compound I'm trying to work out.

  • $\begingroup$ You should remember that the species that undergo fragmentation aren't common compounds but excited radical cations. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Oct 22, 2015 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Mithoron thanks for your reply. I understand that the molecular ion is a radical cation, but I don't understand how the molecular ion could lose just CO. COH I understand but not just CO. $\endgroup$
    – draksi
    Oct 22, 2015 at 17:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you had an aldehyde which formed a radical cation and had loss of a hydrogen radical, a subsequent fragmentation could easily be loss of CO. You to need to look at homolytically splitting your bonds. The other option is a Mclafferty rearrangement for loss of ethene $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Oct 22, 2015 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, it's possible IMO for some of cyclic ketons to lose CO as first, with contraction of ring. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Oct 24, 2015 at 0:38


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