##
1Nonadiabatic coupling and vector correlation in dissociation of triatomic hydrogen
Type: Object |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Obj1

1

Nonadiabatic coupling and vector correlation in dissociation of triatomic hydrogen

Type: Object |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Obj1

2

We determine experimentally the vector correlation among the three neutral ground state hydrogen atoms which appear in dissociation of neutral H

_{3}* molecules.
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res1

3

The sum of the kinetic energies of the three H-atoms is fixed by selecting the energy of the H

_{3}* molecule by laser excitation in the range between 0.85 and 3.60 eV.
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res2

4

The highly structured maps of correlation in the motion of the three atoms provide a direct view of the internal molecular couplings which initiate dissociation.

Type: Conclusion |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Con1

5

We discuss this feature in a model calculation and in terms of a new quantum chemical calculations of the potential energy surfaces of H

_{3}*.
Type: Object |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Obj2

6

A basis of quantum chemistry is the Born–Oppenheimer (BO) approximation, according to which nuclei move on single adiabatic potential energy surfaces created by the much faster moving electrons.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac1

7

This approximation permits the definition of isolated electronic molecular states and their energy levels.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac2

8

Many interesting aspects of molecular dynamics such as molecule formation and dissociation arise from the breakdown of this approximation.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac3

9

This is due to small terms in the molecular Hamiltonian which originate from the finite response time of electron motion to changing nuclear position.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac4

10

A direct access to the dependence of these couplings on molecular coordinates has eluded experimental observation to date, except for diatomics.

^{1}
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac5

11

In our experiment we monitor the reaction H

_{3}* → H(1s) + H(1s) + H(1s).for individual, state-selected H_{3}* molecules and determine separately for each molecule the three atomic momentum vectors in coincidence using technologies described previously.^{2–4}
Type: Object |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Obj3

12

We prepare metastable triatomic hydrogen molecules in a fast (3 keV) beam by charge transfer neutralization of H

_{3}^{+}.
Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met1

13

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac6

14

This state is present in the neutral beam of H

_{3}molecules in a range of vibrational levels {*v*_{1},*v*_{2}}, where*v*_{1}and*v*_{2}describe the symmetric stretch and degenerate bending mode vibrational quantum numbers.
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac7

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac8

16

In the photodissociation experiment described here the molecules are photoexcited inside the cavity of a narrowband dye laser which is tuned to a specific absorption transition to a molecular Rydberg state below the ionization threshold.

Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Met2

17

In this way the total energy of the molecule,

*W*, defined relative to three separated hydrogen atoms, H(1s) + H(1s) + H(1s), is precisely fixed in the experiment.
Type: Method |
Advantage: Yes |
Novelty: New |
ConceptID: Met2

18

This situation is indicated in Fig. 1, which gives a cut through the potential energy surfaces of H

_{3}along the symmetric stretch coordinate.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod1

19

Following photoexcitation the molecules typically predissociate on time scales of 1–10 ns,

^{8}their center of mass propagating at an energy of 3 keV.
Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met3

20

The photofragments separate spatially from this direction according to their transverse momentum and they are detected in coincidence using position- and time-sensitive multihit-detectors

^{3}after a free-flight of 1510 mm.
Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met4

21

Over this flight distance the fragments separate in space by as much as 100 mm.

Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met5

22

High speed time-to-digital converters permit to measure the spatial coordinates of the impact positions of the neutral atoms with a resolution of <100 µm and the arrival time differences between the three atoms with a resolution of <100 ps.

Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met6

23

A triple-coincidence logic-routine

^{10}examines the positions and arrival-times to distinguish process (1) from the fragmentation channel H_{3}* → H_{2}(^{1}Σ+g) + H(1s).For each triple coincidence event, the momentum vectors {*k⃑*_{1},*k⃑*_{2},*k⃑*_{3}} in the center-of-mass frame are evaluated from the time and position information.
Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met7

24

After recording the dissociation of ≈10

^{4}molecules, we obtain a map of preferred momentum correlation, under which the selected H_{3}* state escapes into the three-particle continuum.
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res3

25

These data are coded into a Dalitz plot (see below) after accounting for the geometric detection efficiency.

^{4}
Type: Method |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: Old |
ConceptID: Met8

26

The exit channel in reaction (1) is well defined in terms of three plane waves with center-of-mass momenta

*k⃑*_{i}.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod2

27

Neglecting spin- and orbital angular momenta it may be written as the product wavefunction of the three hydrogen atoms

*ψ*^{c}=*Φ*_{1}(*k⃑*_{1})*Φ*_{2}(*k⃑*_{2})*Φ*_{3}(*k⃑*_{3}).Since the molecular state under study is selected in the laser-excitation step the energy condition holds (*m*being the hydrogen mass), in addition to momentum conservation*k⃑*_{1}+*k⃑*_{2}+*k⃑*_{3}= 0.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod3

28

A unique map of three correlated momentum vectors can be represented in a Dalitz

^{11}plot.
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac9

29

This probability-density plot gives the vector correlation in terms of the reduced energies of the three atoms where

*ε*_{i}= |*k⃑*_{i}|^{2}/(2*mW*).
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod4

30

Fig. 2 illustrates the meaning of the position of an event in the Dalitz plot in terms of the orientation and magnitude of the fragment momenta.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res4

31

Thus islands of preferrred population in a Dalitz plot refer to specific orientations of final-state fragment momenta.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res5

32

In this work we determined the correlation map for about twenty electronic and vibrational molecular states of H

_{3}and D_{3}in the energy range between 0.85 and 3.60 eV above the three-particle asymptote H(1s) + H(1s) + H(1s).
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res6

33

Typical examples are shown in Fig. 3.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res7

34

Pronounced islands of high probability appear, their location depending on the type of electronic excitation, on the vibrational state, and on nuclear mass.

Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod5

35

The initial electronic states have nearly identical nuclear geometry because the adiabatic potential energy surfaces of the excited states are all close to the geometry of the parent ion core H

_{3}^{+}.^{12}
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res8

36

The tightly bound ion is of

*D*_{3h}geometry with a proton separation of 1.64*a*_{0}at the potential minimum.
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res9

37

The attached Rydberg electron adds small modifications to the binding, leading to small (<5%) variations in the proton separation at equilibrium.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res10

38

However the electronic, rovibrational, and nuclear symmetries of the excited states differ and thereby control the coupling matrix elements for predissociation into the ground state continuum.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res11

39

This feature dictates the appearance of the Dalitz plots as we will discuss below.

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res12

40

At present, no rigorous theory has treated a molecular three-body problem such as (1), however a formal discussion can be given.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac10

41

The initially bound H

_{3}* molecule is prepared at time*t*_{0}.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod6

42

At low vibrational excitation its heavy particle wavefunction

*ψ*^{R}(*t*_{0}) is restricted by locally quadratic potentials.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod7

43

It is characterized by products of harmonic oscillator wavefunctions

*χ*in the symmetric stretch and bending normal mode coordinates,*Q*_{s}and*Q*_{b}, with {*i*,*j*} quanta of vibrational excitation*ψ**R**i*,*j*(*t*_{0}) =*χ*_{i}(*Q*_{s})*χ*_{j}(*Q*_{b}).In a time-dependent approach we may formally view process (1) as a sequence of two steps.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod8

44

In a first phase the bound molecular state accesses the repulsive ground state surface of H

_{3}*ψ*^{m}(*t*_{1}) = *ψ**R**i*,*j*(*t*_{0})where*ψ*^{m}(*t*_{1}) is a continuum wavepacket at molecular distances and the operator describes the modification of the normal mode wave functions due to the coupling.
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod9

45

This phase is followed by the evolution of the wavepacket on the continuum energy surface

^{13}where is the Hamiltonian describing the motion of the three atoms.
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac11

46

In the limit of

*t*→ ∞ the function*ψ*^{c}(*t*) approaches eqn. (3).
Type: Model |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Mod10

47

Significant pieces of information required to carry out the propagation in eqns. (7) and (8) have been developed recently.

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac12

48

Among these are studies of some of the nonadiabatic

^{14,15}and Jahn–Teller induced couplings^{16}as well as time-dependent dynamics simulations.^{13–15,17}
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac13

49

A simple model based on a geometry- and state-independent coupling operator fails to explain the finer details in the measured correlation maps.

^{18}
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac14

50

The projection of the wavepacket in eqn. (7) depends sensitively on the overlap of the initial H

_{3}* state with the continuum and restrictions imposed on the projection by symmetry considerations.
Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac15

Type: Background |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Bac16

52

This difference implies that for each electronic state different areas of phase space play the leading role in step (7) and hence dictate a specific form of .

Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res13

53

We therefore conclude that our experiment provides a direct image of the action of the operator , which couples excited molecular states with the final state continuum.

Type: Conclusion |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Con2

54

The dependence of on electronic and nuclear coordinates and symmetries is embedded in an inverse problem of relating probability density in the Dalitz plot to phase-space density of the molecular level.

Type: Conclusion |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Con3

55

Since final and initial states are precisely defined from our experiment, the challenge is to perform a quantum calculation with proper account of electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom.

Type: Goal |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Goa1

56

The complexity of such a task is apparent from Fig. 4 which gives two selected cuts through the potential energy surfaces of H

_{3}.
Type: Result |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Res14

57

As H

_{3}is the primary example of a polyatomic system an*ab initio*treatment of the nonadiabatic couplings in this system will significantly extend our microscopic understanding of molecular dynamics.
Type: Conclusion |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Con4

58

Certainly the experiment has reached a level of sophistication which warrants an in-depth confrontation with this fundamental system of three protons and three electrons.

Type: Conclusion |
Advantage: None |
Novelty: None |
ConceptID: Con5