Gas-Phase Clusters: Spanning the States of Matter

Science  01 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4861, pp. 36-42
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4861.36


Gas-phase clusters, which are weakly bound aggregates comprised of either atoms or molecules, often display properties that lie between those of the gaseous and condensed states. Interesting questions arise concerning how large a cluster must be before it will display bulk properties. Currently there is extensive research activity directed toward studies of their formation and varying properties and reactivity as a function of the degree of aggregation. Results serve to elucidate at the molecular level the course of change of a system to be followed from the gas to the condensed state, thereby enabling a spanning of the states of matter.