We explore the formation of C60 sodium and C60 cesium complexes in superfluid helium nanodroplets. Anomalies in mass spectra of these doped droplets reveal anomalies in the stability of ions. (C60) m Cs+ n ions ( m ≤ 6) are particularly abundant if they contain n = 6m + 1 cesium atoms; (C60) m Cs2+ n dications ( m ≤ 3 or 5) are abundant if n = 6m + 2. These findings are consistent with the notion that alkali metal atoms (A) transfer their valence electrons into the three-fold degenerate lowest unoccupied orbital of C60, resulting in particularly stable C60A6 building blocks. However, (C60) 4CsCs2+ n dications display an entirely different pattern; instead of an expected anomaly at n = 6 × 4 + 2 = 26 we observe a strong odd-even alternation starting at n = 6. Also surprising is the effect of adding one H2O or CO2 molecule to (C60) m Cs n mono- or dications; anomalies shift by two units as if the impurity were acting as an acceptor for two valence electrons from the alkali metal atoms.



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The European Physical Journal D



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This is an article published by Springer in The European Physical Journal D in 2016, available online: