Electron loss from Na Rydberg atoms by ion impact

K. B. MacAdam, N. L.S. Martin, D. B. Smith, R. G. Rolfes, D. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The absolute cross section for removal of Rydberg electrons from Na Rydberg atoms by impact of singly charged ions was measured. Ne+, Ar+, and Xe+, accelerated to energies 15 keV, bombarded a Na atomic-beam target that was laser excited to nd states, n=3045. Electron loss, the sum of ionization and charge transfer, was detected by collecting impact-produced Na+ from the target after 13 s exposure to the projectile beam. The velocity dependence of the cross section was measured for n=40 with projectile velocities v=0.83.7 times the Bohr orbital velocity of the target atoms. The n dependence was measured at reduced velocity v=2.0 for n=3045. A study of field ionization of higher collisionally excited states was made, and important corresponding corrections were applied to the data. The effects of collisional l change in the target and of l mixing due to applied, pulsed electric fields were noted. The absolute unnormalized cross section for n=40 agreed with classical-trajectory calculations and with the classical binary-encounter approximation. The classically predicted n scaling of the cross section at fixed reduced velocity was directly demonstrated, and a scaling exponent 4.080.07 between n=1 and 45 was found. The results may be compared with H++H(1s) collisions at projectile energies 16340 keV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4661-4668
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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