Indirect contributions to electron-impact ionization of Li+ (1s2s S1 3) ions: Role of intermediate double- K -vacancy states
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Fine details of the cross section for electron-impact ionization of metastable two-electron Li+ (1s2s 3S1) ions are scrutinized by both experiment and theory. Beyond direct knockoff ionization, indirect ionization mechanisms proceeding via formation of intermediate double-K-vacancy (hollow) states either in a Li+ ion or in a neutral lithium atom and subsequent emission of one or two electrons, respectively, can contribute to the net production of Li2+ ions. The partial cross sections for such contributions are less than 4% of the total single-ionization cross section. The characteristic steps, resonances, and interference phenomena in the indirect ionization contribution are measured with an experimental energy spread of less than 0.9 eV and with a statistical relative uncertainty of the order of 1.7%, requiring a level of statistical uncertainty in the total single-ionization cross section of better than 0.05%. The measurements are accompanied by convergent-close-coupling calculations performed on a fine energy grid. Theory and experiment are in remarkable agreement concerning the fine details of the ionization cross section. Comparison with previous R-matrix results is less favorable.
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