Here, we describe our pulsed helium droplet apparatus for spectroscopy of molecular ions. Our approach involves the doping of the droplets of about 10 nm in diameter with precursor molecules, such as ethylene, followed by electron impact ionization. Droplets containing ions are irradiated by the pulsed infrared laser beam. Vibrational excitation of the embedded cations leads to the evaporation of the helium atoms in the droplets and the release of the free ions, which are detected by the quadrupole mass spectrometer. In this work, we upgraded the experimental setup by introducing an octupole RF collision cell downstream from the electron impact ionizer. The implementation of the RF ion guide increases the transmission efficiency of the ions. Filling the collision cell with additional He gas leads to a decrease in the droplet size, enhancing sensitivity to the laser excitation. We show that the spectroscopic signal depends linearly on the laser pulse energy, and the number of ions generated per laser pulse is about 100 times greater than in our previous experiments. These improvements facilitate faster and more reproducible measurements of the spectra, yielding a handy laboratory technique for the spectroscopic study of diverse molecular ions and ionic clusters at low temperature (0.4 K) in He droplets.
Infrared spectroscopy of cations in helium nanodroplets
Amandeep Singh, Stefan Bergmeister, Andrew Azhagesan, Paul Scheier, Andrey F. Vilesov; Infrared spectroscopy of cations in helium nanodroplets. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 21 September 2023; 94 (9): 093002. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0163390
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