Photodissociation of stored metal clusters
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Ion trapping allows detailed studies of atomic clusters with various interactions and over a large range of timescales. An overview of methods at hand is given and a specific example is presented in detail where size-selected Au30+ clusters have been stored in a Penning trap and photofragmented by exposure to the third harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser. The resulting mass spectra were sampled after reaction periods varying from 10 μs to 1 s. The data are used to extract relative dissociation energies, which agree well with model-free values determined previously by other means, albeit with a slightly larger magnitude of the odd-even effect. Below n≃24 the relative dissociation energies extracted from the abundance spectra develop very little over the five orders of magnitude in time covered in the experiments. This behavior has been predicted, but not tested previously. Above n≃24 both spectra and dissociation energies develop odd-even effects after a storage time of 10–100 ms. Possible reasons for this behavior are discussed.
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