Atomic Collisions in Suprafluid Helium-nanodroplets

timescales for metal-cluster formation derived from He-density functional theory

Collision times for the coinage metal atoms Cu, Ag and Au in He-droplets are derived from helium density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations. The strength of the attractive interaction between the metal atoms turns out to be less important than the mass of the propagating metal atoms. Even for small droplets consisting of a few thousand helium atoms, the collision times are shortest for Cu, followed by Ag and Au, despite the higher binding energy of Au2 compared to Cu2.

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