Molecular frame and recoil frame photoelectron angular distributions from dissociative photoionization of NO2 Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors report measured and computed molecular frame photoelectron angular distributions (MFPADs) and recoil frame photoelectron angular distributions (RFPADs) for the single photon ionization of the nonlinear molecule NO2 leading to the (1a2)-1 b 3A2 and (4a1)-1 3A1 states of NO2+. Experimentally, the RFPADs were obtained using the vector correlation approach applied to the dissociative photoionization (DPI) involving these molecular ionic states. The polar and azimuthal angle dependences of the photoelectron angular distributions are measured relative to the reference frame provided by the ion recoil axis and direction of polarization of the linearly polarized light. Experimental results are reported for the photon excitation energies hnu=14.4 and 22.0 eV. Theoretically the authors give expressions for both the MFPAD and the RFPAD. They show that the functional form in the recoil frame, where an average over the azimuthal dependence of the molecular fragments about the recoil direction is made, is identical to that they have earlier found for the DPI experiments performed on linear molecules. MFPADs were then computed using single-center expansion techniques within the fixed-nuclei frozen-core Hartree-Fock approximation. The computed cross sections for ionization to the (1a2)-1 b 3A2 state show a strong propensity for ionization with the polarization of the light perpendicular to the plane of the molecule, whereas the ionization to the (4a1)-1 3A1 state of the ion is of similar intensity for all orientations of the polarization of the light in the molecular frame. These qualitative features of the MFPAD are also evident in the RFPAD. The RFPAD for ionization leading to the (1a2)-1 b 3A2 state is strongly peaked in the perpendicular orientation, whereas the RFPAD for ionization leading to the (4a2)-1 3A1 state is much more nearly isotropic. Comparison between experimental and theoretical RFPADs indicates that the recoil angle for NO+ fragments is approximately 50 degrees relative to the symmetry axis of the initial C2v symmetry of the NO2 molecule in the ionization leading to the (1a2)-1 b 3A2 state and the recoil angle is approximately 120 degrees for the O+ fragment for ionization leading to the (4a1)-1 3A1 state.

author list (cited authors)

  • Toffoli, D., Lucchese, R. R., Lebech, M., Houver, J. C., & Dowek, D.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM