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Journal Article

Argon tagging of doubly transition metal doped aluminum clusters: The importance of electronic shielding


Fielicke,  André
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik, Technische Universität Berlin;

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Vanbuel, J., Ferrari, P., Jia, M., Fielicke, A., & Janssens, E. (2021). Argon tagging of doubly transition metal doped aluminum clusters: The importance of electronic shielding. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 154(5): 054312. doi:10.1063/5.0037568.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-04E2-4
The interaction of argon with doubly transition metal doped aluminum clusters, AlnTM2+ (n = 1–18, TM = V, Nb, Co, Rh), is studied experimentally in the gas phase via mass spectrometry. Density functional theory calculations on selected sizes are used to understand the argon affinity of the clusters, which differ depending on the transition metal dopant. The analysis is focused on two pairs of consecutive sizes: Al6,7V2+ and Al4,5Rh2+, the largest of each pair showing a low affinity toward Ar. Another remarkable observation is a pronounced drop in reactivity at n = 14, independent of the dopant element. Analysis of the cluster orbitals shows that this feature is not a consequence of cage formation but is electronic in nature. The mass spectra demonstrate a high similarity between the size-dependent reactivity of the clusters with Ar and H2. Orbital interactions provide an intuitive link between the two and further establish the importance of precursor states in the reactions of the clusters with hydrogen.