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Experimental Determination of Nucleation Scaling Law for Small Charged Particles

We investigated the nucleation process at the molecular level. Controlled sticking of individual atoms onto mass selected clusters over a wide mass range has been carried out for the first time. We measured the absolute unimolecular nucleation cross sections of cationic sodium clusters Na_n^+ in the range n=25–200 at several collision energies. The widely used hard sphere approximation clearly fails for small sizes : not only should vapor-to-liquid nucleation theories be modified, but also, through the microreversibility principle, cluster decay rate statistical models.


Voir en ligne : Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 193401 (2007)