Cleavage patterns of carbon clusters from impact-induced fragmentation of C-N, N = 10-50

Robert L. Whetten, Chahan Yeretzian, Pamela M. St. John

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14 Scopus citations


The preferred fragmentation patterns of negatively charged carbon clusters, C-N have been investigated by cluster-beam impact methods using various surfaces and impact energies (Ei = 0-150 eV). Transitions from one type of cluster structure to another are inferred from the observed change in fragmentation patterns. The results are made possible by the high intact-scattering yield of C-N clusters, and by the competitiveness of fragmentation with electron emission for clusters N < 40. The main inferred structures and diagnostic fragmentation patterns are (i) chain structures (4 < N < 18), which fragment by C(0)3 loss; (ii) ring structures, N ≈ 17-32, reflected by preferential cleavage to give large neutral clusters C(0)14, and C(0)22, (iii) polycyclic or cage structures, which shatter to yield an array of small fragments; and (iv) fullerene-type structures, N > 33, for which electron emission dominates over fragmentation. These results are compared and contrasted with results obtained from other fragmentation and collisional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Oct 13 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon clusters
  • Cluster-beam impact
  • Fullerenes
  • Impact-induced fragmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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