Triatomic Hydrogen
Welcome to the Triatomic Hydrogen Group at the Department of Molecular and Optical Physics - University of Freiburg, Germany

Threebody Decay of the 3s2 A1 '(N=1,K=0) and 3d2 E"(N=1,G=0,R=1) Rydberg States of the Triatomic Hydrogen Molecule H3
U. Müller and P. C. Cosby
Department of Molecular and Optical Physics, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 3, D-79104  Freiburg, Germany


The breakup of n=3 Rydberg states of the triatomic hydrogen molecule into three H(1s) atoms was studied using SRI's fast neutral beam photofragment spectrometer. A beam of fast metastable H3 22A''2(N=K =0) molecules was generated by charge transfer of H+3 ions in Cs vapor. The metastable beam was crossed by an intracavity dye laser beam in order to selectively prepare the 32A'1(N=1, K=0) and 3 d  2E''(N=1, G=0, R=1) states of H3. Correlated fragment pairs were detected by a time- and position-sensitive detector. For both excited states, the two-body decay into H+H2 fragment pairs as well as the three-body breakup into three correlated H(1s) fragments are open channels. The two processes produce distinguishable events on the time- and position-sensitive detector. For three-body decay, only two of the three products are detected. An extensive model using physically reasonable assumptions was developed in order to explain the observed spectra and to gain insight into the kinematics of the three-body breakup. Branching ratios between three- and two- body decay are estimated for the breakup of the H3 32A'1(N=1,  K=0) and 32E''(N=1, G=0, R=1) states, and compared to results of a two-dimensional wave-packet calculation. ©1999 The American Physical Society

©1999 Physical Review A 59, 3632-3642(1999)

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.59.3632
PACS: 33.80.Gj

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