Sulfuric acid and dimethylamine vapours in the atmosphere can form molecular clusters, which participate in new particle formation events. In this work, we have produced, measured, and identified clusters of sulfuric acid and dimethylamine using an electrospray ionizer coupled with a planar-differential mobility analyser, connected to an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ESI–DMA–APi-TOF MS). This set-up is suitable for evaluating the extent of fragmentation of the charged clusters inside the instrument. We evaluated the fragmentation of 11 negatively charged clusters both experimentally and using a statistical model based on quantum chemical data. The results allowed us to quantify the fragmentation of the studied clusters and to reconstruct the mass spectrum by removing the artifacts due to the fragmentation.
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