The recombination energies resulting from electron capture by a positive ion can be accurately measured using hydrated ion nanocalorimetry in which the internal energy deposition is obtained from the number of water molecules lost from the reduced cluster. The width of the product ion distribution in these experiments is predominantly attributable to the distribution of energy that partitions into the translational and rotational modes of the water molecules that are lost. These results are consistent with a singular value for the recombination energy. For large clusters, the width of the energy distribution is consistent with rapid energy partitioning into internal vibrational modes. For some smaller clusters with high recombination energies, the measured product ion distribution is narrower than that calculated with a statistical model. These results indicate that initial water molecule loss occurs on the time scale of, or faster than energy randomization. This could be due to inherently slow internal conversion or it could be due to a multi-step process, such as initial ion-electron pair formation followed by reduction of the ion in the cluster. These results provide additional evidence for the accuracy with which condensed phase thermochemical values can be deduced from gaseous nanocalorimetry experiments. © 2010 American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Donald, W. A., & Williams, E. R. (2010). Measuring the Extent and Width of Internal Energy Deposition in Ion Activation Using Nanocalorimetry. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 21(4), 615–625. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasms.2009.12.006