Using a newly constructed three sector field mass spectrometer (resulting in a BE1E2 field configuration) we have measured the kinetic energy release distributions of neon, argon, and krypton cluster ions. In the present study we used the first two sectors, B and E1, constituting a high resolution mass spectrometer, to select the parent ions in terms of mass, charge, and energy, and studied the decay of those ions in the third field free region. Due to the improved mass resolution we were able to extend earlier studies carried out with a two sector field machine, where an upper size limit arose from the fact that several isotopomers contribute to a decaying parent ion beam when the cluster size exceeds a certain value. Furthermore we developed a new data analysis. It allows us to model also fragment ion peaks that are a superposition of different decay reactions and thus we can determine the average kinetic energy release for all decay reactions of a given cluster ion. In a further step we used these results to determine the binding energies of cluster ions Rg(n) (ngreater than or equal to10) by applying finite heat bath theory. The smaller sizes have not been included in this analysis, because the validity of finite heat bath theory becomes questionable below napproximate to10. The present average kinetic energy releases and binding energies are compared with other experiments and various calculations. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.



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Journal of Chemical Physics



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