Experimental and theoretical studies of one-electron capture in collisions of He2+ ions with H2O molecules have been carried out in the range 0.025-12 keV amu-1 corresponding to typical solar wind velocities of 70-1523 km s-1. Translational energy spectroscopy (TES), photon emission spectroscopy (PES), and fragment ion spectroscopy were employed to identify and quantify the collision mechanisms involved. Cross sections for selective single electron capture into n=1, 2, and 3 states of the He+ ion were obtained using TES while PES provided cross sections for capture into the He+ (2p) and He+ (3p) states. Our model calculations show that He+ (n=2) and He+ (n=3) formation proceeds via a single-electron process governed by the nucleus-electron interaction. In contrast, the He+ (1s) formation mechanism involves an exothermic two-electron process driven by the electron-electron interaction, where the potential energy released by the electron capture is used to remove a second electron thereby resulting in fragmentation of the H2O molecule. This process is found to become increasingly important as the collision energy decreases. The experimental cross sections are found to be in reasonable agreement with cross sections calculated using the Demkov and Landau-Zener models.
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics