2 for the price of 1: how double ionization becomes an efficient process

Recent paper in Nature Physics reveals the trick. IFA's Marcel Mudrich and ph.d. Mykola Shcherbinin are co-authors.

2019.01.28 | Ole J. Knudsen

The dICD double ionization mechanism as imagined by the research group. Ill. M. Mudrich/IFA.

The dICD double ionization mechanism as imagined by the research group. Ill. M. Mudrich/IFA.

Double ionization is a unique mechanism where two electrons are simultaneously emitted from an atom or molecule. Typically, it’s a very weak process occurring only a few percent of the time compared to single ionization where only one electron is emitted. This is due to double ionization requiring the correlated action of two electrons hit by an energetic photon or particle. However, in a recent experiment, is has been shown that double ionization doesn’t necessarily need to be a minor effect and can even be the primary ionization mechanism.

The Nature Physics paper is available here.

Marcel Mudrich has given a short popular description of the new experiment, available as .pdf file here.

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