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X-ray induced fragmentation of size-selected salt cluster-ions stored in an ion trap

Abstract : A method for spectroscopic characterization of free ionic clusters and nanoparticles utilizing X-ray synchrotron radiation is presented. We demonstrate that size-selected ammonium bisulphate cluster ions, NH4+(NH4HSO4)(n), captured in a linear ion trap, exhibit well-defined core-level absorption edges in the reconstructed fragment-ion abundance spectra. In addition to the specific photo-fragmentation pathways observed at the N1s-, O1s- and S2p-edges, dissociation also occurs as a consequence of clusters colliding with helium present as buffer gas in the ion trap. Separate off-beam experiments were conducted to establish the activation kinetics of these collision induced dissociation processes. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the electrons released upon photoionization of background helium are too few in number to produce multiply charged cluster ions, and thereby induce fragmentation of the salt clusters, to any significant degree. The mechanisms for photon absorption and subsequent cluster fragmentation are analysed and discussed. In addition to its inherent element specificity, the method holds promise for cluster structure elucidation resulting from the sensitivity of the near edge absorption structure to the local chemical environment of the excited atom.
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Mauritz J. Ryding, Alexandre Giuliani, Minna Patanen, Johannes Niskanen, Grazieli Simoes, et al.. X-ray induced fragmentation of size-selected salt cluster-ions stored in an ion trap. RSC Advances, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014, 4 (88), pp.47743-47751. ⟨10.1039/c4ra09787d⟩. ⟨hal-02637566⟩

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