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Asymmetric fission and evaporation of C60 q+ (q=2-4) fullerene ions in ion - C60 collisions. I- Present proton results

A quantitative description of the asymmetric fission (AF) of C60r+ fullerene ions (r = 2–4), using a multistop coincidence technique between both fragment ions, is presented. Charged light fragment (LF) and heavy fragment (HF) size distributions are discussed together with the corresponding averaged sizes. Complete AF distributions are reported for the first time for C602+ ions. Simple dependences of the more probable channels and averaged fragment sizes on the partner size are found and discussed. The LF ones are not very sensitive to the parent fullerene ion charge r and vary linearly with the HF size at least for the largest ones. On the other hand the HF ones present an oscillating dependence against the LF size, the odd-numbered LFs being correlated to a smaller HF size, and depend on r. In the comparison of branching ratios between AF and the competing pure neutral evaporation channel, some emphasis is given to the behaviour of the unimolecular processes with r which are compared with the evolution of the activation energies and fission barriers. From a close examination of the individual HF distributions the production mechanisms of odd-n fragments are discussed, and the most probable dissociation channels of even-numbered Cn+ excited carbon clusters identified. Finally, an analysis of the neutral channels is also presented for the first time, the total neutral mass N (in carbon units) being deduced from the mass conservation law. Surprising similarities between the charged LF- and N-distributions are found. AF processes are also identified where light neutrals and ions play a symmetrical role. These findings lead us to suggest that a concerted emission of ions and heavy neutrals is probably a fission mechanism to be considered to understand the AF process of the C60 molecule in addition to the often assumed multistep fragmentation cascade scheme.


Voir en ligne : J. Phys. B 37 2429-2454 (2004)