Use of helium nanodroplets for assembly, transport, and surface deposition of large molecular and atomic clusters

Mozhayskiy, Vadim; Slipchenko, Mikhail N.; Adamchuk, Vera K.; Vilesov, Andrey F.
September 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;9/7/2007, Vol. 127 Issue 9, p094701
Academic Journal
The utility of continuous beam of helium droplets for assembly, transport, and surface deposition of metal and molecular clusters is studied. Clusters of propyne having from about 10 to 104 molecules were obtained via sequential pickup of molecules by He droplets with average sizes in the range of 104–107 atoms. The maximum attainable flux of the propyne molecules carried by He droplets was found to be in the range of (5-15)×1015 molecules sr-1 s-1, being larger in larger droplets. The size of the clusters and the flux of the transported species are ultimately limited by the evaporative extinction of the entire helium droplet upon capture of particles. It is shown that the attenuation of the He droplet beam in the process of the cluster growth can be used in order to obtain the average size and the binding energy of the clusters. Furthermore, we used He droplets for assembling and surface deposition of gold and silver clusters having about 500 atoms. Typical deposition rate of metal atoms of about 3×1015 atoms sr-1 s-1 is comparable to or larger than obtained with other beam deposition techniques. We propose that doping of He droplets by Au and Ag atoms in two separate pickup chambers leads to formation of the bimetal clusters having core-shell structure.


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