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Isomeric Broadening of C60+ Electronic Excitation in Helium Droplets: Experiments Meet Theory

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2018, 00:00 by Alexander Kaiser, Johannes Postler, Milan Ončák, Martin Kuhn, Michael Renzler, Steffen Spieler, Malcolm Simpson, Michael Gatchell, Martin K. Beyer, Roland Wester, Francesco A. Gianturco, Paul Scheier, Florent Calvo, Ersin Yurtsever
Helium is considered an almost ideal tagging atom for cold messenger spectroscopy experiments. Although helium is bound very weakly to the ionic molecule of interest, helium tags can lead to shifts and broadenings that we recorded near 963.5 nm in the electronic excitation spectrum of C60+ solvated with up to 100 helium atoms. Dedicated quantum calculations indicate that the inhomogeneous broadening is due to different binding energies of helium to the pentagonal and hexagonal faces of C60+, their dependence on the electronic state, and the numerous isomeric structures that become available for intermediate coverage. Similar isomeric effects can be expected for optical spectra of most larger molecules surrounded by nonabsorbing weakly bound solvent molecules, a situation encountered in many messenger-tagging spectroscopy experiments.