Lets take a simple water molecule for example. You can use the photoelectric effect to remove electrons from a molecule. As a thought experiment, lets say you have a contained single water molecule in a vacuum with no impurities. Perfect Vacuum. If you use the Photoelectric effect and beam specifically wave-legthed photons at it in a succession to remove electrons one after the other, and lets assume that this electron that is removed goes away and never comes back. After removing enough electrons, will the repulsion from the protons in the hydrogens and the oxygen atom cause the hydrogen and oxygen to separate? Or perhaps with other simple compounds as well besides water, i would assume the same process would work to separate elements.