Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Clusters of Ar, Kr, Xe, N2, O2, CO2, SO2 and NH3 formed by supersonic nozzle expansion have been studied by electron impact ionization mass spectrometry (up to 15000 amu). Besides mass spectra of singly charged ions showing the characteristic anomalous distributions, we have in particular investigated the properties of multiply charged cluster ions. Critical appearance sizes of doubly and triply charged cluster ions, n2 and n3 respectively, found in the present study confirm recent theoretical predictions about n3/n2 and their dependence on the properties of the cluster constituents. The appearance energies of multiply charged cluster ions determined are shifted way below the appearance energies of the respective monomer ions. These huge red shifts together with the observed linear threshold laws and large maximum ionization efficiencies indicate that multiply charged cluster ions are produced by sequential single ionization events of one incoming electron at different cluster sites. Furthermore, we have also obtained for the first time clear evidence that (for electron energies above the appearance energy of doubly charged ions) an appreciable amount of singly charged (also fragment) ions is produced via Coulomb explosion of unstable doubly charged ions in the ion source.
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