Highly Charged Droplets of Superfluid Helium
journal contributionposted on 24.10.2019, 08:25 by Felix Laimer, Lorenz Kranabetter, Lukas Tiefenthaler, Simon Albertini, Fabio Zappa, Andrew M. Ellis, Michael Gatchell, Paul Scheier
We report on the production and study of stable, highly charged droplets of superfluid helium. Using a novel experimental setup we produce neutral beams of liquid helium nanodroplets containing millions of atoms or more that can be ionized by electron impact, mass-per-charge selected, and ionized a second time before being analyzed. Droplets containing up to 55 net positive charges are identified and the appearance sizes of multiply charge droplets are determined as a function of the charge state. We show that the droplets are stable on the millisecond timescale of the experiment and decay through the loss of small charged clusters, not through symmetric Coulomb explosions.