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This work reports on the study of the internal rotation of methane molecules in small clusters containing up to about five molecules. The clusters were assembled in helium droplets at T = 0.38 K by successive capture of single methane molecules and studied by infrared laser spectroscopy of the fundamental CH ν vibration around 3030 cm−1. The spectra demonstrate well resolved structure due to internal rotation of the constituent molecules in the clusters. The most resolved spectrum for the dimers shows characteristic splitting of the lines due to anisotropic intermolecular interaction. The magnitude of the splitting is found to be in a good quantitative agreement with the recent theoretical anisotropic intermolecular potentials.


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