Theoretical Treatment of Electron-Impact Ionization of Molecules

Junfang Gao
Jerry Peacher, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Don H. Madison, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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There is currently no reliable theory for calculating the fully differential cross section (FDCS) for low energy electron-impact ionization of molecules. All of the existing experimental FDCS data represent averages over all molecular orientations and this can be an important theoretical complication for calculations that are computer intensive. We have found that using an averaged molecular orbital is an accurate approximation for ionization of ground states. In this paper, we will describe the approximation, discuss its expected range of validity and show some FDCS results using the approximation for ionization of H2 and N2