Solvation and chemical reaction of sodium in water clusters

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Abstract:

Nam(H2O)n Clusters ( n = 1...200, m = 1...50) are formed in a recently build pick-up arrangement. Preformed water clusters traverse a sodium oven, where sodium atoms are picked up. At low sodium vapour pressure ( < 1×10-4 mbar) pure Na(H2O)n clusters are observed in the mass spectra. At high sodium vapour pressure ( > 1×10-3 mbar) the water cluster pick up more than 50 Na atoms and reaction products Na(NaOH)n ( n = 2, 4...50) dominate the mass spectra. The even number of NaOH units in the products indicate that also in a finite cluster the reaction occurs in pairs as in the macroscopic reaction.