Production and stability of oxygen cluster cations and anions, revisited

Research paper by G. Walder, D. Margreiter, C. Winkler, V. Grill, T. Rauth, P. Scheier, A. Stamatovic, Z. Herman, M. Foltin, T. D. Märk

Indexed on: 01 Mar '91Published on: 01 Mar '91Published in: Zeitschrift für Physik D Atoms, Molecules and Clusters


Stoichiometric and non-stoichiometric, positive and negative oxygen cluster ions (n up to 70) have been produced in a crossed neutral beam/electron beam ion source. The abundance and stability of the ions formed have been analyzed with a double focussing sector field mass spectrometer in a series of experiments. Positive and negative ion mass spectra observed exhibit distinct abundance anomalies, however, at different cluster sizes. Abundance maxima and minima correlate with correspondingly small and large metastable fractions of (O2)n+ and (O2)n− ions, respectively. (O2)n+ ions may also lose up top=(n−1) monomers by collision induced dissociation with monotonously decreasing probability with increasingp. Metastable fractions determined for (O2)n− ions produced with appr. zero eV electrons are in general larger than those for ions produced with appr. 7 eV electrons. (O2)n− ions are also observed to decay via autodetachment, with lifetimes increasing with increasing cluster size. Finally, here we were able to prove that an apparent loss of the monomer fragment O (and higher homologues) observed in the metastable time regime is due to ordinary metastable monomer evaporation in the acceleration region. Moreover, we will also present here some new data and interpretation concerning the electron attachment cross section function for O2 clusters.