Journal article Open Access

Vibrational autoionization in polyatomic molecules

Pratt, S. T.

The vibrationally autoionizing Rydberg states of small polyatomic molecules provide a fascinating laboratory in which to study fundamental nonadiabatic processes. In this review, recent results on the vibrational mode dependence of vibrational autoionization are discussed. In general, autoionization rates depend strongly on the character of the normal mode driving the process and on the electronic character of the Rydberg electron. Although quantitative calculations based on multichannel quantum defect theory are available for some polyatomic molecules, including H3, only qualitative information exists for most molecules. This review shows how qualitative information, such as Walsh diagrams along different normal coordinates of the molecule, can provide insight into the vibrational autoionization rates.

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