Electron attachment to SF6 and lifetimes of SF6- negative ions

Research paper by L. G. Gerchikov, G. F. Gribakin

Indexed on: 27 Feb '08Published on: 27 Feb '08Published in: Physics - Atomic Physics


We study the process of low-energy electron capture by the SF6 molecule. Our approach is based on the model of Gauyacq and Herzenberg [J. Phys. B 17, 1155 (1984)] in which the electron motion is coupled to the fully symmetric vibrational mode through a weakly bound or virtual s state. By tuning the two free parameters of the model, we achieve an accurate description of the measured electron attachment cross section and good agreement with vibrational excitation cross sections of the fully symmetric mode. An extension of the model provides a limit on the characteristic time of intramolecular vibrational relaxation in highly-excited SF6-. By evaluating the total vibrational spectrum density of SF6-, we estimate the widths of the vibrational Feshbach resonances of the long-lived negative ion. We also analyse the possible distribution of the widths and its effect on the lifetime measurements, and investigate nonexponential decay features in metastable SF6-.