The optical absorption spectrum of a vanadium tetramer ion, V4+, was obtained by measuring a photodissociation efficiency of an ion complex, V4+Ar, as a function of the photon energy of the laser pulse used for the photodissociation. The optical absorption spectrum thus obtained was simulated by a density functional calculation to search for the most probable geometric structure which reproduces the measured spectrum. The analysis showed that V4+ is most likely to have a "distorted" tetrahedral structure with C2v symmetry. The ground electronic state of V4+ was found to be a low spin state, 2A1. The relatively broad spectral profile is explained in terms of the distortion related to a low-energy vibration. Geometry optimization of the Amsterdam density functional (ADF) calculation also predicts C2v symmetry for the structure of V4+.
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