The electronic and geometric structures and photodissociation dynamics of the chromium trimer ion, Cr3+, were investigated by photodissociation spectroscopy in the photon-energy range from 1.32 to 5.52 eV.
The branching fractions of the product ions, Cr+ and Cr2+, exhibit stepwise changes at the threshold energies for dissociation into Cr++Cr2, Cr+Cr2+, Cr++2Cr, and Cr*+Cr2+.
It is noted that Cr2+ is produced even above the threshold for atomization; the excess energy is redistributed to produce a fragment atom, Cr*, in an excited state.
The photodissociation action spectrum is well explained by a mixture of simulated spectra for two nearly-degenerate structural isomers identified by density functional calculations:
those having a metastable C2v structure and the most stable structure slightly distorted from the C2v one.
The barrier height between the two isomers which is lower than the zero-point energy suggests that Cr3+ has an intrinsically floppy structure.
36.40.Mr Spectroscopy and geometrical structure of clusters 36.40.Qv Stability and fragmentation of clusters 36.40.Cg Electronic and magnetic properties of clusters
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