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Vibrational and rotational cooling of H3+

Kreckel, H.; Krohn, S.; Lammich, L.; Lange, M.; Levin, J.; Scheffel, M.; Schwalm, D.; ... Zajfman, D.; + view all (2002) Vibrational and rotational cooling of H3+. Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics) , 66 052509. 10.1103/PhysRevA.66.052509. Green open access

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The vibrational relaxation of H3+ molecules from a conventional plasma ion source is studied performing Coulomb explosion imaging on the ions extracted from a storage ring after variable times of storage. Storage for 2 s is found sufficient for radiative relaxation of the breathing excitation and the fragment velocity distribution in the breathing coordinate then agrees well with simulations based on the calculated ground-state wave function. The radiative decay of the two lowest pure breathing levels (1,00) and (2,00) is seen to be considerably faster than expected from rotationless calculations. Assuming a high rotational excitation of the H3+ ions, as suggested already in earlier experiments, the theoretical transition probabilities of the University College London line list for H3+ [L. Neale, S. Miller, and J. Tennyson, Astrophys. J. 464, 516 (1996)] can explain the increase of the vibrational cooling rates and reproduce the observed decay curve for the lowest breathing-excited level, confirming the absolute transition probabilities of these line tables. The observations give evidence for a quasistable population of high-lying rotational levels in the stored ion beam, relevant for the interpretation of storage ring measurements on the rate coefficients for dissociative recombination of H3+ ions with low-energy electrons.

Type: Article
Title: Vibrational and rotational cooling of H3+
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.66.052509
Publisher version: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v66/e052509
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1270
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