Comparative studies of negative ion formation in Rydberg atom collisions with attaching and polar targets
Dunning, F. B.
Doctor of Philosophy
Low-energy electron transfer in collisions between a Rydberg atom and a target molecule can result in the formation of negative ions. Depending as to the properties of the target molecule the electron may be bound in a localized molecular orbital (valence-bound) or bound by its dipole potential in a diffuse orbital located at the positive end of the dipole (dipole-bound). Here we examine the properties of valence-bound and dipole-bound negative ions created through electron transfer in collision with Rydberg atoms, in particular, their lifetimes, collisional properties and electric-field-induced detachment characteristics. Intercomparison of the various data also leads to new insights into electron attachment to molecules that can support both valence-bound and dipole-bound negative ion states.
Molecular physics; Atomic physics; Optics