Infrared Signature of Structures Associated with the H+(H2O)n (n = 6 to 27) Clusters

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Science  21 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5674, pp. 1137-1140
DOI: 10.1126/science.1096466

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We report the OH stretching vibrational spectra of size-selected H+(H2O)n clusters through the region of the pronounced “magic number” at n = 21 in the cluster distribution. Sharp features are observed in the spectra and assigned to excitation of the dangling OH groups throughout the size range 6 ≤ n ≤ 27. A multiplet of such bands appears at small cluster sizes. This pattern simplifies to a doublet at n = 11, with the doublet persisting up to n = 20, but then collapsing to a single line in the n = 21 and n = 22 clusters and reemerging at n = 23. This spectral simplification provides direct evidence that, for the magic number cluster, all the dangling OH groups arise from water molecules in similar binding sites.

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