Zeitschrift für Physik D Atoms, Molecules and Clusters

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 25–29

Electronic shells and shells of atoms in metallic clusters


  • T. P. Martin
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • T. Bergmann
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • H. Göhlich
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • T. Lange
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung

DOI: 10.1007/BF01448248

Cite this article as:
Martin, T.P., Bergmann, T., Göhlich, H. et al. Z Phys D - Atoms, Molecules and Clusters (1991) 19: 25. doi:10.1007/BF01448248


Intensity anomalies (magic numbers) have been observed in the mass spectra of sodium clusters containing up to 22 000 atoms. For small clusters (Nan,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.


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© Springer-Verlag 1991