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J Chem Phys. 2011 Jul 28;135(4):044309. doi: 10.1063/1.3610388.

The submersion of sodium clusters in helium nanodroplets: identification of the surface → interior transition.

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  • 1Institut für Ionenphysik und Angewandte Physik und Research Platform Advanced Materials, Universität Innsbruck, Technikerstr. 25, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


The submersion of sodium clusters beyond a critical size in helium nanodroplets, which has recently been predicted on theoretical grounds, is demonstrated for the first time. Confirmation of a clear transition from a surface location, which occurs for alkali atoms and small clusters, to full immersion for larger clusters, is provided by identifying the threshold electron energy required to initiate Na(n) cluster ionization. On the basis of these measurements, a lower limit for the cluster size required for submersion, n ≥ 21, has been determined. This finding is consistent with the recent theoretical prediction.

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