Fragmentation and reaction processes in cluster-surface collisions

Pamela M. St. John, Rainer D. Beck, Robert L. Whetten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We review the processes which have been observed from collisions between alkali-halide clusters and solid surfaces. Soft impact of nanocrystalline NanFn-1+ clusters against solid surfaces causes them to cleave along the lowest energy (100) plane. At higher collision energies (Ei>1 eV/atom), an evaporative cascade occurs which is characteristic of a transformation of the nanocrystal to a molten state. Efficient F- transfer from the cluster to the surface can occur for the larger clusters (>60 atoms) scattering from Si(111), in direct competition with the cleaving channel at low energies. In this regime, strong bonds can form between the F- and silicon surface. The reaction probability increases with cluster size indicating that an impact-initiated shock wave is needed to enhance the reactive process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-228
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Physical Journal D
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • 34.50.Lf
  • 36.40.+d
  • 79.20.Nc
  • 79.20.Rf
  • 81.60.Cp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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