On the influence of collision mass and interaction potential to the energy transfer in small thermal gas phase clusters Academic Article uri icon


  • We have studied the collisional energy transfer, and the sticking probability, between molybdenum clusters and the rare-gas atoms Ne, Ar, and Xe. We have chosen these systems as nontrivial models of the thermalization process of metal clusters in a background gas. The mean energy transfer cross sections and the energy transfer rate constants, and the sticking probability of molybdenum clusters (Mo4,9,14) with rare-gas atoms are computed as functions of relative collision energy (gas temperature) and reduced mass. The dynamics of gas phase molybdenum clusters are simulated by molecular dynamics trajectories whose initial conditions are sampled from a distribution appropriate to thermal collisions. The simulation shows that the energy transfer rate constants are dominated by the collision frequency. The mean energy transfer cross sections are coupled to the collision mass as well as to the actual interaction force. The coupling is nonlinear, and there is some evidence that in the energy transfer, for small clusters, complex collisions are involved. The sticking probability at equilibrium temperature is far below 1.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Applied Physics

author list (cited authors)

  • Schulte, J., Marlow, W. H., & Lucchese, R. R.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Schulte, J||Marlow, WH||Lucchese, RR

publication date

  • June 1994