The electronic and geometrical structure of free neutral clusters and liquids have been studied using synchrotron-radiation based photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy in combination with lineshape modeling. A novel experimental setup has been developed for studies of liquids, based on the liquid microjet technique. Theoretical lineshapes have been computed using both classical (molecular dynamics) and quantum mechanical (mainly density functional theory) methods.
Clusters are finite ensembles of atoms or molecules, ranging in size from a few to several thousand atoms. Apart from being fundamentally interesting, clusters are also promising as building blocks for nano-technology. In this thesis results are presented for rare-gas and molecular clusters, ranging from weakly van-deer-Waals bonded to hydrogen bonded. It is shown that the combination of core-level photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and lineshape modeling can be used to estimate the sizes of clusters. A model for treating the effect of inter-molecular nuclear relaxation upon ionization is proposed. The structure of single-component molecular clusters are investigated by molecular dynamics simulations, validated against XPS data. Finally, the radial structure of a two-component molecular cluster is investigated by XPS.
Liquids have been studied for centuries, but still many questions remain regarding the microscopic properties. With the recent development of the liquid microjet technique, new insight into the atomic structure can be obtained. In this thesis we study aqueous solutions using photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). We investigate the structure of surface active molecules by XPS, study the Auger decay after core-level ionization in aqueous potassium chloride (KCl), and follow the changes in molecular structure of glycine as a function of pH.