An apparatus for investigating the energy dependence of collision-induced fragmentation of internally cold, mass-selected molecular cluster ions is described. First results on the collisional energy dependence of the cross sections for fragmentation of small (CO)+n clusters in collisions with Ar atoms are presented. Interesting structure is observed in the cross sections and the results indicate that the collision occurs between the Ar atom and one CO2 molecule within the cluster. This leads to either vibrational excitation of a loosely bound CO2 monomer which then leaves the cluster or excitation of the entire cluster to a dissociative state.
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The authors would like to thank Professor I.V. Hertel for his interest in the present work and for many fruitful discussions. Financial support by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” through SFB 276: “Korrelierte Dynamik hochangeregter ato-marer und molekularer System” is gratefully acknowledged.