Zeitschrift für Physik D Atoms, Molecules and Clusters

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 25-29

First online:

Electronic shells and shells of atoms in metallic clusters

  • T. P. MartinAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • , T. BergmannAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • , H. GöhlichAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • , T. LangeAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung

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Intensity anomalies (magic numbers) have been observed in the mass spectra of sodium clusters containing up to 22 000 atoms. For small clusters (Na n ,n≤1500) the anomalies appear to be due to the filling of electronic shells (groups of subshells having the same energy). The shells can be characterized rather well by a pseudoquantum-number, indicating the possible existence of a symmetry higher than spherical. The mass spectra of larger clusters (1500≤n≤22 000) are well explained by the completion of icosahedral or cuboctahedral shells of atoms. The fact that the two types of shells (electron and atom) occur in distinct and non-overlapping size intervals might indicate the existence of a “liquid” to “solid” transition in going from small to large clusters.


36.40. +d 82.80Ms