Application of Generalized Sturmian Basis Functions to Molecular Systems

Abstract : In this PhD thesis we implement a Sturmian approach, based on generalized Sturmian functions (GSFs), to study the ionization of molecules by collision with photons or electrons. Since the target Hamiltonian is highly non-central, describing molecular ionization is far from easy. Besides, as the spatial orientation of the molecule in most experimental measurements is not resolved, an important issue to take into account is its random orientation. In the literature, many theoretical methods have been proposed to deal with molecules, but many of them are adapted to study mainly bound states. An accurate description of the unbound (continuum) states of molecules remains a challenge. Here we propose to tackle these problems using GSFs, which are characterized to have, by construction, the correct asymptotic behavior of the studied system. This property allows one to perform ionization calculations more efficiently. We start and validate our Sturmian approach implementation by studying photoionization (PI) of H, He and Ne atoms. Different model potentials were used in order to describe the interaction of the ejected electron with the parental ion. We calculated the corresponding PI cross sections in both length and velocity gauges. For H atom, the comparison with the analytical formula shows that a rapid convergence can be achieved using a moderate number of GSFs. For He and Ne we have also an excellent agreement with other theoretical calculations and with experimental data. For molecular targets, we considered two different strategies to deal with their random orientation: one makes use of a molecular model potential (non-central), while the other uses an angular averaged version of the same potential (central). We study PI for CH4, NH3, and H2O, from the outer and inner valence orbitals, and for SiH4 and H2S from the outer orbitals. The calculated PI cross sections and also the asymmetry parameters (obtained from the corresponding angular distributions) are compared with available theoretical and experimental data. For most cases, we observed an overall fairly good agreement with reference values, grasping the main features of the ionization process. In a second part of the thesis, we apply the Sturmian approach to study ionization of molecules by electron collisions. In the so-called (e,2e) processes, fully differential cross sections are investigated within both the first- or the second-Born approximations. Again, we show how to include in the description the random orientation of the molecule. We start with H atom, as a test system: the comparison of the calculated triple differential cross sections (TDCSs) with analytical results illustrates, similarly to the PI case, the efficiency of our GSF method. It is then applied to ionization of CH4, H2O and NH3, and comparisons are made with the few theoretical and experimental data available in the literature. For most cases, our TDCSs can reproduce such data, particularly for H2O and for slow ejected electrons in CH4
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Carlos Mario Granados Castro. Application of Generalized Sturmian Basis Functions to Molecular Systems. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université de Lorraine, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016LORR0041⟩. ⟨tel-01754687⟩

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