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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The smallest doubly charged coronene cluster ions reported so far, Cor152+, were produced by charge exchange between bare coronene clusters and He2+ [H. A. B. Johansson et al., Phys. Rev. A 84, 043201 (2011)]. These dications are at least five times larger than the estimated Rayleigh limit, i.e., the size at which the activation barrier for charge separation vanishes. Such a large discrepancy is unheard of for doubly charged atomic or molecular clusters. Here we report the mass spectrometric observation of doubly charged coronene trimers, produced by electron ionization of helium nanodroplets doped with coronene. The observation implies that Cor32+ features a non-zero fission barrier too large to overcome under the present experimental conditions. The height of the barriers for the dimer and trimer has been estimated by means of density functional theory calculations. A sizeable barrier for the trimer has been revealed in agreement with the experimental findings.



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The Journal of Chemical Physics



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This is an article published by AIP in The Journal of Chemical Physics in 2018, available online: