We have adopted the newly developed technique of growing cationic clusters in size-to-charge selected helium nanodroplets (HNDs), with subsequent removal of helium in a collision cell, to record high-resolution mass spectra of Nen+. Growth in singly charged HNDs leads to mass spectra that feature the same anomalies in the cluster ion abundance as in previous work, namely maxima at n = 14, 21, 55/56, 75. Several other, weaker but statistically significant anomalies are observed at n = 9, 26, 29, 33, 35, 69, 82, 89. However, when neon clusters are grown in larger HNDs, which are likely to be multiply charged, we observe a different set of magic numbers, at n = 7, 13, 19, 26, 29, 34, 55, 71, 81, plus many other numbers for larger clusters, up to n = 197. A transition from the first to the second set is observed in a limited size range if the collision pressure is increased. The most likely reason for the existence of two different sets of magic numbers appears to be the existence of two distinct structural families.



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International Journal of Mass Spectrometry



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This is an article published by Elsevier in International Journal of Mass Spectrometry in 2021, available online: