Hyperthermal surface-collisions of water cluster cations

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Size-selected, protonated water cluster cations (H2O)nH+, 4 ≤ n ≤ 32, are scattered at normal incidence from the surface of a diamond-coated silicon wafer at collision energies 0 ≤ E coll ≤ 500 eV. The size distribution of collision-induced fragment-ions and the ion yield of scattered particles are analyzed, using a secondary time-of-flight mass spectrometer, as a function of the cluster size, n, and the collision energy, E coll. Even at low impact energies only very small fragment-ions can be detected, with a maximum fragment size of ∼35% of the colliding parent cluster ions. For clusters consisting of more than 10 molecules, the protonated water dimer (H2O)2H+ becomes the predominant fragment-ion. The total charge survival yield obeys a nonlinear increase with cluster size; for the largest clusters investigated, more than 35% of the impacting ions survive the surface collision in the cationic charge state.

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Correspondence to W. Christen.

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Christen, W., Even, U. Hyperthermal surface-collisions of water cluster cations. Eur. Phys. J. D 24, 283–286 (2003).

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  • 34.30.+h Intramolecular energy transfer; intramolecular dynamics; dynamics of van der Waals molecules
  • 34.50.-s Scattering of atoms and molecules
  • 34.70.+e Charge transfer
  • 36.40.-c Atomic and molecular clusters
  • 61.46.+w Nanoscale materials: clusters, nanoparticles, nanotubes, and nanocrystals
  • 82.40.-g Chemical kinetics and reactions: special regimes and techniques