Dynamics of metal electron excitation in atom-surface collisions: A quantum wave packet approach

Z. Kirson, R. B. Gerber, A. Nitzan, Mark A Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Electron-hole pair excitations upon atom impact on a metal surface are studied in a framework of a one-dimensional independent-electron model. The method employed treats electron dynamics quantum mechanically and the atom motion classically, and the two are coupled through the time-dependent self-consistent field (TDSCF) approximation. A variational method is used to calculate the time evolution of the electronic wave packet. Calculations were carried out for the colliders. He, Ar and H; the surface parameters were chosen to model Li. Some of the results obtained are: (1) Electron excitation by H is much more efficient than for a rare-gas collider. Experimental search for hole-pair excitations should thus be best pursued with H as a collider. (2) At 0 K surface temperature ΔE/E, the fraction of collision energy converted to hole-pair excitations, decreases as the collision energy increases for energies up to ≈ 1 eV. At collision energy E = 0.01 eV, the fraction of energy transferred is ≈ 0.2% for He and ≈ 10% for H. (3) Atom trapping due to energy transfer to electrons occurs with high probability (50-100%) at sufficiently low collision energies. Ar trapping takes place at energies below 1 K and H trapping below 20 K. (4) The calculations show a pronounced transition from atom de-excitation to atom excitation by electron-hole pairs as surface temperature increases. (5) Perturbation theory is tested against the present method. It breaks down mainly for trapping and for temperature effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-550
Number of pages24
JournalSurface Science
Volume137
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 1984

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Wave packets
wave packets
Metals
Atoms
collisions
Electrons
Colliding beam accelerators
metals
excitation
atoms
trapping
electrons
energy
surface temperature
Noble Gases
Inert gases
Thermal effects
Energy transfer
metal surfaces
self consistent fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Cite this

Dynamics of metal electron excitation in atom-surface collisions : A quantum wave packet approach. / Kirson, Z.; Gerber, R. B.; Nitzan, A.; Ratner, Mark A.

In: Surface Science, Vol. 137, No. 2-3, 02.02.1984, p. 527-550.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kirson, Z. ; Gerber, R. B. ; Nitzan, A. ; Ratner, Mark A. / Dynamics of metal electron excitation in atom-surface collisions : A quantum wave packet approach. In: Surface Science. 1984 ; Vol. 137, No. 2-3. pp. 527-550.
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