Resonant Charge Transfer of Hydrogen Rydberg Atoms Incident on a Cu(100) Projected Band-Gap Surface

J. A. Gibbard*, M. Dethlefsen, M. Kohlhoff, C. J. Rennick, E. So, M. Ford, Timothy Softley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The charge transfer (ionization) of hydrogen Rydberg atoms (n=25-34) incident on a Cu(100) surface is investigated. Unlike fully metallic surfaces, where the Rydberg electron energy is degenerate with the conduction band of the metal, the Cu(100) surface has a projected band gap at these energies, and only discrete image states are available through which charge transfer can take place. Resonant enhancement of charge transfer is observed for Rydberg states whose energy matches one of the image states, and the integrated surface ionization signals (signal versus applied field) show clear periodicity as a function of n as the energies come in and out of resonance with the image states. The surface ionization dynamics show a velocity dependence; decreased velocity of the incident H atom leads to a greater mean distance of ionization and a lower field required to extract the ion. The surface ionization profiles for "on resonance" n values show a changing shape as the velocity is changed, reflecting the finite field range over which resonance occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number093201
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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