Homonuclear and bimetallic transition metal clusters are produced in the gas phase and detected by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Physical] properties such as stability, geometric and electronic structure, ionization potentials, and photoabsorption cross sections are studied with lasers covering a wide range of photon energies from UV to infrared. The influence of the d-electrons from the atoms in the metallic bindings of the clusters will be investigated by varying the stochiometry of bimetallic clusters.
Clusters will be deposited on substrates to produce thin films whose properties are studied by X-ray, RBS, AFM, STM, and RHEED. Depositing clusters with high kinetic energy will atomize them, producing "conventional" thin films, which is expected to improve the film quality. Additionally, clusters are deposited with low kinetic energy, producing "cluster" films. Their physical properties, e.g. electronic and magnetic behaviour, and superconductivity are compared to the properties of thin films grown by conventional techniques.