Surface impact induced fragmentation and charging of neat and mixed clusters of SO2 and H2O

V. V. Gridin, C. R. Gebhardt*, A. Tomsic, I. Schechter, H. Schröder, K. L. Kompa

*Corresponding author for this work

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9 Scopus citations


Cluster impact induced charge separation was studied with neat and mixed clusters of SO2 and H2O impinging at hyperthermal velocities on a SiOx target held at different temperatures. At 750K, impact of SO2 clusters produces positively and negatively charged cluster fragments of the form [(SO2)n-K,Na]+ and [(SO2)m-SO2]- which is explained in terms of the known cluster-impact induced pickup of alkali surface adsorbates. The high sensitivity of this channel promises applications for the analysis of alkali surface contaminations. The dominant fragments observed during the impact of binary SO2/H2O clusters at the same target temperature were [(H2O)n-H]+ and [(SO2)p (H2O)q-HSO3] -, which indicates an intracluster proton transfer reaction. Similar fragments were also detected as minor spectral progressions during the surface impact of neat SO2 clusters at a target temperature of 380K. This is interpreted in terms of an impact-induced pickup of water surface adsorbates into the neat sulfur dioxide cluster during the surface collision. Upon impact of neat water clusters, fragment ions of the form [(H2O) n-H]+ and [(H2O)q-OH]- are observed, which can be explained in terms of the autoprotolysis reaction in bulk water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 36.40.In
  • 82.30.Fi
  • 82.80.Ms
  • Charge transfer
  • Cluster impact
  • Molecular clusters


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