Mass spectrometry

Nano Group at the University of Leicester



Mass spectrometry of atoms, molecules and clusters in helium nanodroplets

In recent years we have carried out extensive studies of the behaviour of ions in helium droplets. To make cations electron impact is used, leading initially to either He+ or electronically excited helium, He*. He+ can transfer its charge to a dopant inside the droplet while He* can ionize a dopant by Penning ionization. We have investigated these processes for a range of molecules. More recently one of us (Andrew M. Ellis) has established a collaboration with the group of Professor Paul Scheier (Institute of Ion Physics, University of Innsbruck: to explore both cations and anions found in helium nanodroplets. For example, we have recently observed electron attachment to C60 clusters in helium nanodroplets leading to the formation of dianions, a first in helium nanodroplets.


Mass spectrum recorded for clusters of methanol with water (recorded at the University of Innsbruck)








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