Coherent stabilization of zero-electron-kinetic-energy states
Paolo Bellomo and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
J. Chem. Phys. 110, 7658 (1999).
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The accuracy of zero-electron-kinetic-energy (ZEKE)
photoelectron spectroscopy rests on the ultralong lifetimes of
the high-n, high-l Rydberg states that are responsible
for the ZEKE signal. However, a few-photon process cannot
excite electrons directly from the low-l ground state to
the high-l ZEKE manifold. In this paper we show that
using the dynamics of Rydberg Stark states in slowly time
dependent external fields it is possible to control coherently
the angular momentum of Rydberg electrons, and therefore also
their lifetime. We derive explicitly two different schemes
based on simple, short electric dc pulses, which populate
precisely those high-l, long-lived Rydberg states that
are necessary for accurate ZEKE experiments. The high-l
states that we construct are also Stark eigenstates, therefore a
moderate dc external field can eventually enforce cylindrical
symmetry and lock the ZEKE electrons in the stable, long-lived
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