European Physical Journal D

Size-dependent light emission from mass-selected clusters

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The emission of photons in the visible wavelength range from mass-selected Agn+, Cun+, Ptn+ and Pdn+ (n = 1 ... 5) clusters is observed. Photons are detected ≈ 10-4 s after the cluster generation in a sputter source. The emission intensities display distinct variations with cluster size and material. The observations are interpreted in terms of the decay of metastable states which are excited during the high-energy sputtering process used for the generation of these clusters. © EDP Sciences Springer-Verlag 1998.