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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 28 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics