Cluster and Nanoscale Science: Overview and Perspective

  • A. W. CastlemanJr.
  • S. N. Khanna
Part of the Springer Series in Cluster Physics book series (CLUSTER)


The field of cluster science has undergone an explosive growth in activity during the last decade, stimulated both by the large number of basic problems to which studies of clusters have provided new insights, as well as the vast array of applied areas to which clusters relate such as condensed matter physics and materials science. Elucidating from a molecular point of view the differences and similarities in the properties and reactivity of matter in the gaseous phase compared to the condensed state has been an overriding theme of many of the investigations, with both experimental and theoretical attention being directed to studies of structure, thermochemical properties, reactivity, and electronic excitation and relaxation dynamics. Particular interest in cluster research derives from the fact that aggregates of very small dimensions have properties that often differ significantly from those of the bulk material of which they are composed, and they typically display behavior that is not fully characterized as being a solid, liquid or gas. Indeed, clusters are often referred to as a new state of matter. As a result of their small physical size, a large fraction of the constituents of a cluster lies on the surface, and also constraints are imposed on their energy levels which frequently give rise to unique (quantum) effects. Furthermore, their study provides insights into the possibility of using clusters as building blocks for assembling new nanoscale materials in the future.


Quantum Tunneling Relaxation Dynamic Neutral Cluster Coulomb Explosion Jellium Model 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. CastlemanJr.
  • S. N. Khanna

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