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Published January 1, 1988 | Published
Journal Article Open

Photophysics of buckminsterfullerene and other carbon cluster ions


The laser-induced fragmentation behavior of positive carbon cluster ions has been investigated by tandem time-of-flight techniques for the jet-cooled clusters up to 80 atoms in size. Two distinct photophysical regimes were found. The first applies to clusters with 34 atoms or more, all of which dissociate to produce even numbered fragments. Large even clusters fragment by the loss of the high energy species C2, odd ones lose a C atom. The second regime applies to clusters composed of 31 or less atoms, all of which fragment by the loss of C3. These two regimes are sharply separated by C + 32 which fragments to produce small cluster ions in the 10–19 atom size range. Fragmentation of the large clusters occurs on a microsecond or faster time scale only at very high levels of excitation (>12.8 eV). These photophysical results are interpreted as consequences of the large even clusters having edgeless, spheroidal cage structures while the small ones have linear chain or ring structures.

Additional Information

© 1988 American Institute of Physics. Received 13 May 1987; accepted 7 October 1987. The authors would like to acknowledge extremely useful discussions with O. Cheshnovsky, H.W. Kroto, and T.G. Schmalz during our considerations of these fragmentation results. The tandem TOF apparatus used in this study is an improved version of that used previously by Brucat et al. [17]. The improvements are largely the work of L.S Zheng, S. Yang, C.L. Pettiette, M.J. Craycraft, and P.J. Brucat. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.

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