Resonant charge transfer of hydrogen Rydberg atoms incident at a metallic sphere

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External organisations

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Birmingham


A wavepacket propagation study is reported for the charge transfer of low principal quantum number (n = 2) hydrogen Rydberg atoms incident at an isolated metallic sphere. Such a sphere acts as a model for a nanoparticle. The three-dimensional confinement of the sphere yields discrete surface-localized 'well-image' states, the energies of which vary with sphere radius. When the Rydberg atom energy is degenerate with one of the quantized nanoparticle states, charge transfer is enhanced, whereas for off-resonant cases little to no charge transfer is observed. Greater variation in charge-transfer probability is seen between the resonant and off-resonant examples in this system than for any other Rydberg-surface system theoretically investigated thus far. The results presented here indicate that it may be possible to use Rydberg-surface ionization as a probe of the surface electronic structure of a nanoparticle, and nanostructures in general.


Original languageEnglish
Article number114004
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2016


  • charge transfer, nanoparticle, Rydberg