The design and fabrication of a Smalley-type cluster source in combination with a reflectron based time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer are reported. The generation of clusters is based on supersonic jet expansion of the sampling plume. Sample cells for both liquid and solid targets developed for this purpose are described. Two pulsed Nd-YAG lasers are used in tandem, one (532 nm) for target vapourization and the other (355 nm) for cluster ionization. Methanol clusters of nuclearity up to 14 (mass 500 amu) were produced from liquid methanol as the test sample. The clusters were detected with a mass resolution of ∼ 2500 in the R-TOF geometry. Carbon clusters up to a nuclearity of 28 were obtained using a polyimide target. The utility of the instrument is demonstrated by carrying out experiments to generate mixed clusters from alcohol mixtures.
Volume 132, 2019
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