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Determination of ionization energies of small silicon clusters with vacuum?ultraviolet (VUV) radiation

Abstract

In this work we report on single photon vacuum ultraviolet photoionization of small silicon clusters (n=1-7) produced via laser ablation of Si. The adiabatic ionization energies (AIE) are extracted from experimental photoionization efficiency (PIE) curves with the help of Frank?Condon simulations, used to interpret the shape and onset of the PIE curves. The obtained AIEs are (all energies are in eV): Si (8.13+-0.05), Si2 (7.92+-0.05), Si3 (8.12+-0.05), Si4 (8.2+-0.1), Si5 (7.96+-0.07), Si6 (7.8+-0.1), and Si7 (7.8+-0.1). Most of the experimental AIE values are in good agreement with ab initio electronic structure calculations. To explain observed deviations between the experimental and theoretical AIEs for Si4 and Si6, a theoretical search of different isomers of these species is performed. Electronic structure calculations aid in the interpretation of the a2PIu state of Si2+ dimer in the PIE spectrum. Time dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations are performed to reveal the energies of electronically excited states in the cations for a number of Si clusters.

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