Hyperthermal surface-collisions of water cluster cations

W Christen, U Even

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 ≤ Ecoll ≤ 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, Ecoll. Even at low impact energies only very small fragment-ions can be detected, with a maximum fragment size of ∼33% 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Physical Journal D
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


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