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Single photon thermal ionization of large molecules

Magazine article
Authors Klavs Hansen
R. Richter
M. Alagia
S. Stranges
L. Schio
P. Salen
Vasyl Yatsyna
Raimund Feifel
Vitali Zhaunerchyk
Published in Elettra Highlights
Pages 2
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 2
Language en
Subject categories Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics, Physical Sciences


We have demonstrated that gas phase C60 can ionize in a quasi-thermal process where the absorption of a single photon at energies of several tens of eVs leads to the formation of a transient hot electron gas, while the vibrational degrees of freedom remain cold. The existence of the hot electron gas is signalled by the emission of thermal electrons with Boltzmann-like kinetic energy distributions with temperatures of 10000−20000 K. The ionization mechanism is expected to be general for large molecules and will have, e.g., astrophysical consequences.

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