Photofragmentation of small argon clusters with size below ten atoms is reported. In this size range significant modifications from the electronic properties and geometry take place. When tuning the photon energy through the argon 2p edge, the fragmentation pattern is changed. Specifically, cation dimer production is enhanced at the 2p(3/2)-> 4s resonance, while above the 2p edge almost complete atomization is observed. In both cases, the widths of the peaks in the mass spectra indicate that a large amount of kinetic energy is imparted to the fragment due to the formation of multiply charged clusters. A model based on "Coulomb explosion"-charge separation, simply resulting in a complete atomization of the cluster with no dependence on the photon energy-is insufficient to explain the observed photofragmentation of small clusters.
- Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
- Natural Sciences
- Physical Sciences