The photoelectron photoemission spectra and thresholds for low coverages of Li and K adsorbed on water-ice have been measured, compared with photoionization spectra of the gas-phase atoms, and modeled by quantum chemical calculations. For both alkali metals the threshold for photoemission is dramatically decreased and the cross section increased on adsorption to the water-ice surface. Quantum chemical calculations suggest that the initial state is formed by the metal atoms adsorbed into the water-ice surface, forming a state with a delocalized electron distribution. This state is metastable and decays on the hundreds of seconds time scale at 92 K. The decay is markedly faster for Li than for K, probably due to diffusion into the ice film
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