Collisional and thermal ionization of sodium Rydberg atoms: I. Experiment for nS and nD atoms with n = 8-20

I. I. Ryabtsev*, D. B. Tretyakov, I. I. Beterov, N. N. Bezuglov, K. Miculis, Aigars Ekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Collisional and thermal ionization of sodium nS and nD Rydberg atoms with n = 8-20 has been studied. The experiments were performed using a two-step pulsed laser excitation in an effusive atomic beam at atom density of about 2 × 1010 cm-3. Molecular and atomic ions from associative, Penning and thermal ionization processes were detected. It was found that the atomic ions were created mainly due to photoionization of Rydberg atoms by photons of blackbody radiation at the ambient temperature of 300 K. Blackbody ionization rates and effective lifetimes of Rydberg states of interest were determined. The molecular ions were found to be from associative ionization in Na(nL) + Na(3S) collisions. Rate constants of associative ionization have been measured using an original method based on relative measurements of Na 2+ and Na+ ion signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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