Excess-electron and excess-hole states of charged alkali halide clusters

Eric C. Honea, Margie L. Homer, R. L. Whetten

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19 Scopus citations


Charged alkali halide clusters from a He-cooled laser vaporization source have been used to investigate two distinct cluster states corresponding to the excess-electron and excess-hole states of the crystal. The production method is UV-laser vaporization of an alkali metal rod into a halogen-containing He flow stream, resulting in variable cluster composition and cooling sufficient to stabilize weakly bound forms. Detection of charged clusters is accomplished without subsequent ionization by pulsed-field time-of-flight mass spectrometry of the skimmed cluster beam. Three types of positively charged sodium fluoride cluster are observed, each corresponding to a distinct physical situation: NanF+n-1 (purely ionic form), Nann+1F+n-1 (excess-electron form), and NanF+n (excess-hole form). The purely ionic clusters exhibit an abundance pattern similar to that observed in sputtering and fragmentation experiments and are explained by the stability of completed cubic microlattice structures. The excess-electron clusters, in contrast, exhibit very strong abundance maxima at n = 13 and 22, corresponding to the all-odd series (2n + 1 = jxkxl;j,k,l odd). Their high relative stability is explained by the ease of Na(0) loss except when the excess electron localizes in a lattice site to complete a cuboid structure. These may correspond to the internal F-center state predicted earlier. A localized electron model incorporating structural simulation results as account for the observed pattern. The excess-hole clusters, which had been proposed as intermediates in the ionization-induced fragmentation of neutral AHCs, exhibit a smaller variation in stability, indicating that the hole might not be well localized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Dec 15 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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