How waterlike are ionic water clusters? Clusters with 10 to 100 water molecules are frequently used as model systems for reactions in aqueous solution. Concerted proton transfer, a key feature of liquid water, can be probed by observing the formation of HDO when D2O is used as a reactant (see scheme). Mass spectrometry shows that proton transfer occurs in H(H2O)n+, whereas the individual water molecules stay intact in (H2O)n− and O2(H2O)n−.
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