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Vacuum-Ultraviolet (VUV) Photoionization of Small Methanol and Methanol-Water Clusters

Abstract

In this work, we report on the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) photoionization of small methanol and methanol-water clusters. Clusters of methanol with water are generated via co-expansion of the gas phase constituents in a continuous supersonic jet expansion of methanol and water seeded in Ar. The resulting clusters are investigated by single photon ionization with tunable vacuum-ultraviolet synchrotron radiation and mass analyzed using reflectron mass spectrometry. Protonated methanol clusters of the form (CH3OH)nH+(n = 1-12) dominate the mass spectrum below the ionization energy of the methanol monomer. With an increase in water concentration, small amounts of mixed clusters of the form (CH3OH n(H2O)H+ (n = 2-11) are detected. The only unprotonated species observed in this work are the methanol monomer and dimer. Appearance energies are obtained from the photoionization efficiency (PIE) curves for CH3OH+, (CH3OH)2+, (CH3OH)nH+ (n = 1-9), and (CH3OH)n(H2O)H+ (n = 2-9) as a function of photon energy. With an increase in the water content in the molecular beam, there is an enhancement of photoionization intensity for the methanol dimer and protonated methanol monomer at threshold. These results are compared and contrasted to previous experimental observations.

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