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1.
Nat Methods ; 2020 Mar 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32123391

RESUMO

An Orbitrap-based ion analysis procedure determines the direct charge for numerous individual protein ions to generate true mass spectra. This individual ion mass spectrometry (I2MS) method for charge detection enables the characterization of highly complicated mixtures of proteoforms and their complexes in both denatured and native modes of operation, revealing information not obtainable by typical measurements of ensembles of ions.

2.
J Proteome Res ; 19(3): 1346-1350, 2020 Mar 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32032494

RESUMO

Charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) is mainly utilized to determine the mass of intact molecules. Previous applications of CDMS have determined the mass-to-charge ratio and the charge of large polymers, DNA molecules, and native protein complexes, from which corresponding mass values could be assigned. Recent advances have demonstrated that CDMS using an Orbitrap mass analyzer yields the reliable assignment of integer charge states that enables individual ion mass spectrometry (I2MS) and spectral output directly into the mass domain. Here I2MS analysis was extended to isotopically resolved fragment ions from intact proteoforms for the first time. With a radically different bias for ion readout, I2MS identified low-abundance fragment ions containing many hundreds of residues that were undetectable by standard Orbitrap measurements, leading to a doubling in the sequence coverage of triosephosphate isomerase. Thus MS/MS with the detection of individual ions (MS/I2MS) provides a far greater ability to detect high mass fragment ions and exhibits strong complementarity to traditional spectral readout in this, its first application to top-down mass spectrometry.

3.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 31(3): 574-581, 2020 Mar 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31971796

RESUMO

New tools and techniques have dramatically accelerated the field of structural biology over the past several decades. One potent and relatively new technique that is now being utilized by an increasing number of laboratories is the combination of so-called "native" electrospray ionization (ESI) with mass spectrometry (MS) for the characterization of proteins and their noncovalent complexes. However, native ESI-MS produces species at increasingly higher m/z with increasing molecular weight, leading to substantial differences when compared to traditional mass spectrometric approaches using denaturing ESI solutions. Herein, these differences are explored both theoretically and experimentally to understand the role that charge state and isotopic distributions have on signal-to-noise (S/N) as a function of complex molecular weight and how the reduced collisional cross sections of proteins electrosprayed under native solution conditions can lead to improved data quality in image current mass analyzers, such as Orbitrap and FT-ICR. Quantifying ion signal differences under native and denatured conditions revealed enhanced S/N and a more gradual decay in S/N with increasing mass under native conditions. Charge state and isotopic S/N models, supported by experimental results, indicate that analysis of proteins under native conditions at 100 kDa will be 17 times more sensitive than analysis under denatured conditions at the same mass. Higher masses produce even larger sensitivity gains. Furthermore, reduced cross sections under native conditions lead to lower levels of ion decay within an Orbitrap scan event over long transient acquisition times, enabling isotopic resolution of species with molecular weights well in excess of those typically resolved under denatured conditions.

4.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 30(11): 2200-2203, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31512223

RESUMO

Charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) of low-level signals is currently limited to the analysis of individual ions that generate a persistent signal during the entire observation period. Ions that disintegrate during the observation period produce reduced frequency domain signal amplitudes, which lead to an underestimation of the ion charge state, and thus the ion mass. The charge assignment can only be corrected through an accurate determination of the time of ion disintegration. The traditional mechanisms for temporal signal analysis have severe limitations for temporal resolution, spectral resolution, and signal-to-noise ratios. Selective Temporal Overview of Resonant Ions (STORI) plots provide a new framework to accurately analyze low-level time domain signals of individual ions. STORI plots allow for complete correction of intermittent signals, the differentiation of single and multiple ions at the same frequency, and the association of signals that spontaneously change frequency.

5.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 30(7): 1190-1198, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30963455

RESUMO

Native mass spectrometry (nMS) is a technique growing at the interface of analytical chemistry, structural biology, and proteomics that enables the detection and partial characterization of non-covalent protein assemblies. Currently, the standardization and dissemination of nMS is hampered by technical challenges associated with instrument operation, benchmarking, and optimization over time. Here, we provide a standard operating procedure for acquiring high-quality native mass spectra of 30-300 kDa proteins using an Orbitrap mass spectrometer. By describing reproducible sample preparation, loading, ionization, and nMS analysis, we forward two proteoforms and three complexes as possible standards to advance training and longitudinal assessment of instrument performance. Spectral data for five standards can guide assessment of instrument parameters, data production, and data analysis. By introducing this set of standards and protocols, we aim to help normalize native mass spectrometry practices across labs and provide benchmarks for reproducibility and high-quality data production in the years ahead. Graphical abstract.


Assuntos
Espectrometria de Massas/métodos , Multimerização Proteica , Proteínas/química , Álcool Desidrogenase/química , Animais , Anidrases Carbônicas/química , Bovinos , Modelos Moleculares , Piruvato Quinase/química , Coelhos , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/química , Proteínas de Saccharomyces cerevisiae/química
6.
Anal Chem ; 91(4): 2776-2783, 2019 Feb 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30609364

RESUMO

It is well-known that with Orbitrap-based Fourier-transform-mass-spectrometry (FT-MS) analysis, longer-time-domain signals are needed to better resolve species of interest. Unfortunately, increasing the signal-acquisition period comes at the expense of increasing ion decay, which lowers signal-to-noise ratios and ultimately limits resolution. This is especially problematic for intact proteins, including antibodies, which demonstrate rapid decay because of their larger collisional cross-sections, and result in more frequent collisions with background gas molecules. Provided here is a method that utilizes numerous low-ion-count spectra and single-ion processing to reconstruct a conventional m/ z spectrum. This technique has been applied to proteins varying in molecular weight from 8 to 150 kDa, with a resolving power of 677 000 achieved for transients of carbonic anhydrase (29 kDa) with a duration of only ∼250 ms. A resolution improvement ranging from 10- to 20-fold was observed for all proteins, providing isotopic resolution where none was previously present.

7.
J Chem Phys ; 149(5): 054305, 2018 Aug 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30089379

RESUMO

Lanthanide (Ln) oxide clusters have complex electronic structures arising from the partially occupied Ln 4f subshell. New anion photoelectron (PE) spectra of SmxCe3-xOy- (x = 0-3; y = 2-4) along with supporting results of density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest interesting x and y-dependent Sm 4f subshell occupancy with implications for Sm-doped ionic conductivity of ceria, as well as the overall electronic structure of the heterometallic oxides. Specifically, the Sm centers in the heterometallic species have higher 4f subshell occupancy than the homonuclear Sm3Oy-/Sm3Oy clusters. The higher 4f subshell occupancy both weakens Sm-O bonds and destabilizes the 4f subshell relative to the predominantly O 2p bonding orbitals in the clusters. Parallels between the electronic structures of these small cluster systems with bulk oxides are explored. In addition, unusual changes in the excited state transition intensities, similar to those observed previously in the PE spectra of Sm2O- and Sm2O2- [J. O. Kafader et al., J. Chem. Phys. 146, 194310 (2017)], are also observed in the relative intensities of electronic transitions to excited neutral state bands in the PE spectra of SmxCe3-xOy- (x = 1-3; y = 2, 4). The new spectra suggest that the effect is enhanced with lower oxidation states and with an increasing number of Sm atoms, implying that the prevalence of electrons in the diffuse Sm 6s-based molecular orbitals and a more populated 4f subshell both contribute to this phenomenon. Finally, this work identifies challenges associated with affordable DFT calculations in treating the complex electronic structures exhibited by these systems, including the need for a more explicit treatment of strong coupling between the neutral and PE.

8.
J Phys Chem A ; 122(1): 41-52, 2018 Jan 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29202242

RESUMO

To probe the mechanism of sacrificial reagents in catalytic processes, product distributions from MoxOy- clusters reacting individually with C2H4 and H2O are compared with those from reactions with a C2H4 + H2O mixture, with the thermodynamics explored computationally. These molecules were chosen to model production of H2 from H2O via H2O + C2H4 → H2 + CH3CHO, mediated by MoxOy- clusters. H2O is known to sequentially oxidize MoxOy- suboxide clusters while producing H2, resulting in less reactive clusters. MoxOy- (y ∼ x) clusters undergo chemi-fragmentation reactions with C2H4, with MoxOyC2Hz- complexes forming as the cluster oxidation state increases. Unique species observed in reactions with the C2H4 + H2O mixture, Mo2O5C2H2- and MoO3C2H4-, suggest that the internal energy gained in new Mo-O bond formation from oxidation by H2O opens additional reaction channels. C2H3O- is observed uniquely in reactions with the C2H4 + H2O mixture, giving indirect evidence of CH3CHO formation via the cluster mediated H2O + C2H4 → H2 + CH3CHO reaction; C2H3O- can form via dissociative electron attachment to CH3CHO. Calculations support mechanisms that invoke participation of two ethylene molecules on thermodynamically favorable pathways leading to experimentally observed products.

9.
J Chem Phys ; 147(10): 104303, 2017 Sep 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28915734

RESUMO

The anion photoelectron (PE) spectra of a range of small mono-cerium molecular species, along with the Ce2O4- and Ce3O6- stoichiometric clusters, are presented and analyzed with the support of density functional theory calculations. A common attribute of all of the neutral species is that the Ce centers in both the molecules and clusters are in the +4 oxidation state. In bulk ceria (CeO2), an unoccupied, narrow 4f band lies between the conventional valence (predominantly O 2p) and conduction (Ce 5d) bands. Within the CeO2-, CeO3H2-, and Ce(OH)4- series, the PE spectra and computational results suggest that the Ce 6s-based molecular orbital is the singly occupied HOMO in CeO2- but becomes destabilized as the Ce 4f-local orbital becomes stabilized with increasing coordination. CeO3-, a hyperoxide, undergoes photodissociation with 3.49 eV photon energy to form the stoichiometric neutral CeO2 and O-. In the CeO2-, Ce2O4- ,and Ce3O6- stoichiometric cluster series, the 6s destabilization with 4f stabilization is associated with increasing cluster size, suggesting that a bulk-like band structure may be realized with fairly small cluster sizes. The destabilization of the 6s-based molecular orbitals can be rationalized by their diffuse size relative to Ce-O bond lengths in a crystal structure, suggesting that 6s bands in the bulk may be relegated to the surface.

10.
J Chem Phys ; 146(19): 194310, 2017 May 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28527471

RESUMO

The anion photoelectron (PE) spectra along with supporting results of density functional theory (DFT) calculations on SmO-, SmCeOy-, and Sm2Oy- (y = 1, 2) are reported and compared to previous results on CeO- [M. Ray et al., J. Chem. Phys. 142, 064305 (2015)] and Ce2Oy- (y = 1, 2) [J. O. Kafader et al., J. Chem. Phys. 145, 154306 (2016)]. Similar to the results on CexOy- clusters, the PE spectra of SmO-, SmCeOy-, and Sm2Oy- (y = 1, 2) all exhibit electronic transitions to the neutral ground state at approximately 1 eV e-BE. The Sm centers in SmO and Sm2O2 neutrals can be described with the 4f56s superconfiguration, which is analogous to CeO and Ce2O2 neutrals in which the Ce centers can be described with the 4f 6s superconfiguration (ZCe = ZSm - 4). The Sm center in CeSmO2, in contrast, has a 4f6 occupancy, while the Ce center maintains the 4f 6s superconfiguration. The less oxidized Sm centers in both Sm2O and SmCeO have 4f6 6s occupancies. The 4f6 subshell occupancy results in relatively weak Sm-O bond strengths. If this extra 4f occupancy also occurs in bulk Sm-doped ceria, it may play a role in the enhanced O2- ionic conductivity in Sm-doped ceria. Based on the results of DFT calculations, the heteronuclear Ce-Sm oxides have molecular orbitals that are distinctly localized Sm 4f, Sm 6s, Ce 4f, and Ce 6s orbitals. The relative intensity of two electronic bands in the PE spectrum of Sm2O- exhibits an unusual photon energy-dependence, and the PE spectrum of Sm2O2- exhibits a photon energy-dependent continuum signal between two electronic transitions. Several explanations, including the high magnetic moment of these suboxide species and the presence of low-lying quasi-bound anion states, are considered.

11.
J Chem Phys ; 145(15): 154306, 2016 Oct 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27782463

RESUMO

The anion photoelectron (PE) spectra of Ce2Oy- (y = 1, 2), Ce3Oy- (y = 0-4), Ce4Oy- (y = 0-2), and Ce5Oy- (y = 1, 2) are reported and analyzed with supporting results from density functional theory calculations. The PE spectra all exhibit an intense electronic transition to the neutral ground state, all falling in the range of 0.7 to 1.1 eV electron binding energy, with polarization dependence consistent with detachment from diffuse Ce 6s-based molecular orbitals. There is no monotonic increase in electron affinity with increasing oxidation. A qualitative picture of how electronic structure evolves with an oxidation state emerges from comparison between the spectra and the computational results. The electronic structure of the smallest metallic cluster observed in this study, Ce3, is similar to the bulk structure in terms of atomic orbital occupancy (4f 5d2 6s). Initial cerium cluster oxidation involves largely ionic bond formation via Ce 5d and O 2p orbital overlap (i.e., larger O 2p contribution), with Ce-O-Ce bridge bonding favored over Ce=O terminal bond formation. With subsequent oxidation, the Ce 5d-based molecular orbitals are depleted of electrons, with the highest occupied orbitals described as diffuse Ce 6s based molecular orbitals. In the y ≤ (x + 1) range of oxidation states, each Ce center has a singly occupied non-bonding 4f orbital. The PE spectrum of Ce3O4- is unique in that it exhibits a single nearly vertical transition. The highly symmetric structure predicted computationally is the same structure determined from Ce3O4+ IR predissociation spectra [A. M. Burow et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 19393 (2011)], indicating that this structure is stable in -1, 0, and +1 charge states. Spectra of clusters with x ≥ 3 exhibit considerable continuum signal above the ground state transition; the intensity of the continuum signal decreases with increasing oxidation. This feature is likely the result of numerous quasi-bound anion states or two-electron transitions possible in molecules with abundant nearly degenerate partially occupied orbitals.

12.
J Chem Phys ; 145(4): 044317, 2016 Jul 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27475371

RESUMO

The electronic structures of several small Ce-Pt oxide complexes were explored using a combination of anion photoelectron (PE) spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations. Pt and Pt2 both accept electron density from CeO diatomic molecules, in which the cerium atom is in a lower-than-bulk oxidation state (+2 versus bulk +4). Neutral [CeO]Pt and [CeO]Pt2 complexes are therefore ionic, with electronic structures described qualitatively as [CeO(+2)]Pt(-2) and [CeO(+)]Pt2 (-), respectively. The associated anions are described qualitatively as [CeO(+)]Pt(-2) and [CeO(+)]Pt2 (-2), respectively. In both neutrals and anions, the most stable molecular structures determined by calculations feature a distinct CeO moiety, with the positively charged Ce center pointing toward the electron rich Pt or Pt2 moiety. Spectral simulations based on calculated spectroscopic parameters are in fair agreement with the spectra, validating the computationally determined structures. In contrast, when Pt is coupled with CeO2, which has no Ce-localized electrons that can readily be donated to Pt, the anion is described as [CeO2]Pt(-). The molecular structure predicted computationally suggests that it is governed by charge-dipole interactions. The neutral [CeO2]Pt complex lacks charge-dipole stabilizing interactions, and is predicted to be structurally very different from the anion, featuring a single Pt-O-Ce bridge bond. The PE spectra of several of the complexes exhibit evidence of photodissociation with Pt(-) daughter ion formation. The electronic structures of these complexes are related to local interactions in Pt-ceria catalyst-support systems.

13.
J Chem Phys ; 144(7): 074307, 2016 Feb 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26896986

RESUMO

Results of a systematic comparison of the MoxOy (-) + H2O and WxOy (-) + H2O reaction rate coefficients are reported and compared to previous experimental and computational studies on these reactions. WxOy (-) clusters undergo more direct oxidation by water to yield WxOy+1 (-) + H2, while for MoxOy (-) clusters, production of MoxOyH2 (-) (trapped intermediates in the oxidation reaction) is comparatively more prevalent. However, MoxOy (-) clusters generally have higher rate coefficients than analogous WxOy (-) clusters if MoxOy+1H2 (-) formation is included. Results of calculations on the M2Oy (-) + H2O (M = Mo, W; y = 4, 5) reaction entrance channel are reported. They include charge-dipole complexes formed from long-range interactions, and the requisite conversion to a Lewis acid-base complex that leads to MxOy+1H2 (-) formation. The results predict that the Lewis acid-base complex is more strongly bound for MoxOy (-) clusters than for WxOy (-) clusters. The calculated free energies along this portion of the reaction path are also consistent with the modest anti-Arrhenius temperature dependence measured for most MoxOy (-) + H2O reactions, and the WxOy (-) + H2O reaction rate coefficients generally being constant over the temperature range sampled in this study. For clusters that exhibit evidence of both water addition and oxidation reactions, increasing the temperature increases the branching ratio toward oxidation for both species. A more direct reaction path to H2 production may therefore become accessible at modest temperatures for certain cluster stoichiometries and structures.

14.
J Chem Phys ; 143(6): 064305, 2015 Aug 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26277136

RESUMO

The photoelectron (PE) spectrum of PrO(-) exhibits a short 835 ± 20 cm(-1) vibrational progression of doublets (210 ± 30 cm(-1) splitting) assigned to transitions from the 4f(2) [(3)H4] σ6s (2) Ω = 4 anion ground state to the 4f(2) [(3)H4] σ6s Ω = 3.5 and 4.5 neutral states. This assignment is analogous to that of the recently reported PE spectrum of CeO(-), though the 82 cm(-1) splitting between the 4f [(2)F2.5] σ6s Ω = 2 and Ω = 3 CeO neutral states could not be resolved [Ray et al., J. Chem. Phys. 142, 064305 (2015)]. The origin of the transition to the Ω = 3.5 neutral ground state is 0.96 ± 0.01 eV, which is the adiabatic electron affinity of PrO. Density functional theory calculations on the anion and neutral molecules support the assignment. The appearance of multiple, irregularly spaced and low-intensity features observed ca. 1 eV above the ground state cannot be reconciled with low-lying electronic states of PrO that are accessible via one-electron detachment. However, neutral states correlated with the 4f(2) [(3)H4] 5d superconfiguration are predicted to be approximately 1 eV above the 4f(2) [(3)H4] σ6s Ω = 3.5 neutral ground state, leading to the assignment of these features to shake-up transitions to the excited neutral states. Based on tentative hot band transition assignments, the term energy of the previously unobserved 4f(2) [(3)H4] σ6s Ω = 2.5 neutral state is determined to be 1840 ± 110 cm(-1).

15.
J Chem Phys ; 143(3): 034305, 2015 Jul 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26203025

RESUMO

The anion photoelectron (PE) spectra of EuH(-) and the PE spectrum of overlapping EuOH(-) and EuO(-) anions are presented and analyzed with supporting results from density functional theory calculations on the various anions and neutrals. Results point to ionically bound, high-spin species. EuH and EuOH anions and neutrals exhibit analogous electronic structures: Transitions from (8)Σ(-) anion ground states arising from the 4f(7)σ(6s)(2) superconfiguration to the close-lying neutral (9)Σ(-) and (7)Σ(-) states arising from the 4f(7)σ(6s) superconfiguration are observed spaced by an energy interval similar to the free Eu(+) [4f(7)6s] (9)S - (7)S splitting. The electron affinities (EAs) of EuH and EuOH are determined to be 0.771 ± 0.009 eV and 0.700 ± 0.011 eV, respectively. Analysis of spectroscopic features attributed to EuO(-) photodetachment is complicated by the likely presence of two energetically competitive electronic states of EuO(-) populating the ion beam. However, based on the calculated relative energies of the close-lying anion states arising from the 4f(7)σ(6s) and 4f(6)σ(6s)(2) configurations and the relative energies of the one-electron accessible 4f(7) and 4f(6)σ(6s) neutral states based on ligand-field theory [M. Dulick, E. Murad, and R. F. Barrow, J. Chem. Phys. 85, 385 (1986)], the remaining features are consistent with the 4f(6)σ(6s)(2) (7)Σ(-) and 4f(7)σ(6s) (7)Σ(-) anion states lying very close in energy (the former was calculated to be 0.15 eV lower in energy than the latter), though the true anion ground state and neutral EA could not be established unambiguously. Calculations on the various EuO anion and neutral states suggest 4f-orbital overlap with 2p orbitals in species with 4f(6) occupancy.

16.
J Chem Phys ; 142(6): 064305, 2015 Feb 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25681904

RESUMO

The photoelectron spectrum of CeO(-) exhibits what appears to be a single predominant electronic transition over an energy range in which numerous close-lying electronic states of CeO neutral are well known. The photoelectron spectrum of Ce(OH)2 (-), a molecule in which the Ce atom shares the same formal oxidation state as the Ce atom in CeO(-), also exhibits what appears to be a single transition. From the spectra, the adiabatic electron affinities of CeO and Ce(OH)2 are determined to be 0.936 ± 0.007 eV and 0.69 ± 0.03 eV, respectively. From the electron affinity of CeO, the CeO(-) bond dissociation energy was determined to be 7.7 eV, 0.5 eV lower than the neutral bond dissociation energy. The ground state orbital occupancies of both CeO(-) and Ce(OH)2 (-) are calculated to have 4f 6s(2) Ce(+) superconfigurations, with open-shell states having 4f5d6s superconfiguration predicted to be over 1 eV higher in energy. Low-intensity transitions observed at higher electron binding energies in the spectrum of CeO(-) are tentatively assigned to the (1)Σ(+) (Ω = 0) state of CeO with the Ce+26s2 superconfiguration.

17.
J Phys Chem A ; 118(43): 9960-9, 2014 Oct 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25310627

RESUMO

Reactions between small cerium oxide cluster anions and deuterated water were monitored as a function of both water concentration and temperature in order to determine the temperature dependence of the rate constants. Sequential oxidation reactions of the Ce(x)O(y)⁻ (x = 2, 3) suboxide cluster anions were found to exhibit anti-Arrhenius behavior, with activation energies ranging from 0 to -18 kJ mol⁻¹. Direct oxidation of species up to y = x was observed, after which, -OD abstraction and D2O addition reactions were observed. However, the stoichiometric Ce2O4⁻ and Ce3O6⁻ cluster anions also emerge in reactions between D2O and the respective precursors, Ce2O3D⁻ and Ce3O5D2⁻. Ce2O4⁻ and Ce3O6⁻ product intensities diminish relative to deuteroxide complex intensities with increasing temperature. The kinetics of these reactions are compared to the kinetics of the previously studied Mo(x)O(y)⁻ and W(x)O(y)⁻ reactions with water, and the possible implications for the reaction mechanisms are discussed.

18.
J Phys Chem A ; 118(27): 4900-6, 2014 Jul 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24975119

RESUMO

Heat capacities have been measured as a function of temperature for size-selected gallium cluster cations with between 60 and 183 atoms. Almost all clusters studied show a single peak in the heat capacity that is attributed to a melting transition. The peaks can be fit by a two-state model incorporating only fully solid-like and fully liquid-like species, and hence no partially melted intermediates. The exceptions are Ga90(+), which does not show a peak, and Ga80(+) and Ga81(+), which show two peaks. For the clusters with two peaks, the lower temperature peak is attributed to a structural transition. The melting temperatures for clusters with less than 50 atoms have previously been shown to be hundreds of degrees above the bulk melting point. For clusters with more than 60 atoms the melting temperatures decrease, approaching the bulk value (303 K) at around 95 atoms, and then show several small upward excursions with increasing cluster size. A plot of the latent heat against the entropy change for melting reveals two groups of clusters: the latent heats and entropy changes for clusters with less than 94 atoms are distinct from those for clusters with more than 93 atoms. This observation suggests that a significant change in the nature of the bonding or the structure of the clusters occurs at 93-94 atoms. Even though the melting temperatures are close to the bulk value for the larger clusters studied here, the latent heats and entropies of melting are still far from the bulk values.

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