Associative ionization in collisions of electronically excited Na atoms with vibrationally excited \(\) molecules
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We have studied the formation of \(\) ions in collisions of Na(3d,5s,4d) atoms with vibrationally excited Na 2 (v”) molecules in their electronic ground state in a supersonic beam. The cross-section of the Na\(\) associative ionization is found to be about six times larger than that of the corresponding atomic reaction Na\(\). Associative ionization in collisions of Na(3d) with Na 2 (v”) is observed only with vibrationally excited Na2 molecules. The cross-section \(\) of this reaction increases only slightly with v” for low vibrational excitation, while a strong increase with v” is observed for \(\). The latter observation suggests the opening of the channel leading to the formation of \(\) ions in the first electronically excited state for \(\).
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