Repository logo

Dynamics and fragmentation of van der Waals clusters: (H2O)n, (CH3OH)n, and (NH3)n upon ionization by a 26.5 eV soft x-ray laser




Dong, F., author
Rocca, Jorge J., author
Heinbuch, S., author
Bernstein, E. R., author
American Institute of Physics, publisher

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


A tabletop soft x-ray laser is applied for the first time as a high energy photon source for chemical dynamics experiments in the study of water, methanol, and ammonia clusters through time of flight mass spectroscopy. The 26.5 eV/photon laser (pulse time duration of ~1 ns) is employed as a single photon ionization source for the detection of these clusters. Only a small fraction of the photon energy is deposited in the cluster for metastable dissociation of cluster ions, and most of it is removed by the ejected electron. Protonated water, methanol, and ammonia clusters dominate the cluster mass spectra. Unprotonated ammonia clusters are observed in the protonated cluster ion size range 2⩽n⩽22. The unimolecular dissociation rate constants for reactions involving loss of one neutral molecule are calculated to be (0.6-2.7) × 104, (3.6-6.0) × 103, and (0.8-2.0) × 104 s−1 for the protonated water (9⩽n⩽24), methanol (5⩽n⩽10), and ammonia (5⩽n⩽18) clusters, respectively. The temperatures of the neutral clusters are estimated to be between 40 and 200 K for water clusters (10⩽n⩽21), and 50-100 K for methanol clusters (6⩽n⩽10). Products with losses of up to five H atoms are observed in the mass spectrum of the neutral ammonia dimer. Large ammonia clusters (NH3)n (n>3) do not lose more than three H atoms in the photoionization/photodissociation process. For all three cluster systems studied, single photon ionization with a 26.5 eV photon yields near threshold ionization. The temperature of these three cluster systems increases with increasing cluster size over the above-indicated ranges.


Rights Access



Associated Publications