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Electron ionization of helium droplets doped with sodium, potassium or cesium results in doubly and, for cesium, triply charged cluster ions. The smallest observable doubly charged clusters are Na92+, K112+, and Cs92+; they are a factor two to three smaller than reported previously. The size of sodium and potassium dications approaches the Rayleigh limit nRay for which the fission barrier is calculated to vanish, i.e. their fissilities are close to 1. Cesium dications are even smaller than nRay, implying that their fissilities have been significantly overestimated. Triply charged cesium clusters as small as Cs193+ are observed; they are a factor 2.6 smaller than previously reported. Mechanisms that may be responsible for enhanced formation of clusters with high fissilities are discussed.



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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics


Royal Society of Chemistry

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This is an article published by Royal Society of Chemistry in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics in 2016, available online: