Molecular Beam Studies of Ionization Processes in Collisions of Excited Rare Gas Atoms
Rare gas atoms in their lowest excited levels exhibit interesting properties mainly due to their high electronic energy and their long lifetime. Actually their energy goes from 19.82 eV for the He atom in the 23S state and 8.32 eV of the Xe atom in the 3P2 state, while the lifetime ranges from 4. 2×103 s for the former atom to 0.078 s for the latter. These characteristics make possible several processes during the collisions with atomic and molecular targets: electronic energy transfer, ionization reactions or chemical reactions leading to the formation of an excimer molecule are some examples. Because their importance in several applications such as plasmas, electrical discharges or laser systems, these processes are extensively studied both in bulk systems  and under single collision conditions [2–4]. The long lifetime of these species makes possible the study of collisional processes of excited rare gas atoms by the molecular beam technique.
KeywordsCollision Energy Ionization Cross Section Potential Energy Curve Associative Ionization Electronic Energy Transfer
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