Two-step single-ionization mechanisms

R. W. Van Boeyen, N. Watanabe, J. W. Cooper, J. P. Doering, J. H. Moore, M. A. Coplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In a recent publication [Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 233202 (2004)] two different electron impact double ionization (e,3e) mechanisms were identified and the way in which two-electron momentum distributions for atoms and molecules could be obtained by triple coincidence (e,3e) measurements was discussed. The apparatus used detected the two ejected electrons both in and out of the scattering plane at an angle of 45° to the momentum transfer direction in triple coincidence with the scattered electron. Ejected electrons detected out of the scattering plane were shown to be a result of two-step double ionization processes. With the same apparatus we have made double coincidence (e,2e) measurements of electron impact single ionization cross sections for ionization of magnesium 3s (valence) and 2p and 2s (inner) shell electrons at incident energies from 400 to 3000 eV in order to obtain more information about two-step ionization. The experimental results were compared with distorted-wave and plane-wave Born approximations carried out to second order. For the experimental conditions, two-step ionization processes involving one ionizing collision and a second elastic collision with the atomic core are the dominant contribution to the measured cross sections. Calculations are in moderate agreement with the data. The angular distributions of the ionized electrons in these two-step ionizations reflect the initial momentum distributions of the target electrons, a result that is analogous with the earlier (e,3e) measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032703
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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