A size resolved investigation of large water clusters
Size selected water clusters are generated by photoionizing sodium doped clusters close to the ionization threshold. This procedure is free of fragmentation. Upon infrared excitation, size- and isomer-specific OH-stretch spectra are obtained over a large range of cluster sizes. In one application of this method the infrared spectra of single water cluster sizes are investigated. A comparison with calculations, based on structures optimized by genetic algorithms, has been made to tentatively derive cluster structures which reproduce the experimental spectra. We identified a single all-surface structure for n = 25 and mixtures with one or two interior molecules for n = 24 and 32. In another application the sizes are determined at which the crystallization sets in. Surprisingly, this process strongly depends on the cluster temperature. The crystallization starts at sizes below n = 200 at higher temperatures and the onset is shifted to sizes above n = 400 at lower temperatures.