Mass Spectrometric Evidence for Icosahedral Structure of Large Rare Gas Clusters: Ar, Kr, Xe


Clusters of argon, krypton, and xenon are grown in a free jet and ionized by electron impact. The size of these clusters, (Rg)+n, extends up to n≂1000. Individual cluster sizes are mass resolved up to n≂570 in the case of Ar+n. The well known, but puzzling differences in the size distributions of Kr and Xe clusters disappear beyond n≂130, while those between Ar and Xe disappear beyond n≂220. The most pronounced ‘‘magic numbers’’ in the distributions of large cluster ions occur at n=147 (148 for Ar), 309, and 561, in striking agreement with the number of atoms required to build icosahedral clusters with 3, 4, and 5 complete coordination shells, respectively. Closure of the 6th icosahedral coordination shell is indicated by another strong intensity drop at n≂923 in the unresolved part of the spectra. Several additional intensity extrema are observed between major shell closures. A simple structural model, assuming an icosahedral core decorated by the additional atoms, accounts for these anomalies reasonably well up to n=561.



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The Journal of Chemical Physics



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