Regular Article – Atomic and Molecular Collisions
Fragmentation dynamics of diatomic molecules under proton impact: Kinetic energy release spectra of CO and NO (q = 2, 3) molecular ions
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, 208016, Kanpur, India
2 School of Sciences, SR University, Warangal, India
3 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, 1 Homi Bhabha Road Colaba, 400005, Mumbai, India
4 Inter-University Accelerator Centre, Aruna Asif Ali Marg, 110067, New Delhi, India
Accepted: 1 August 2022
Published online: 16 September 2022
We report the fragmentation dynamics of triply charged, diatomic, molecular ions of NO and CO. Dissociative fragmentation after multiple ionization of NO and CO is studied under the impact of 200 keV proton beam using a recoil-ion momentum spectrometer. Kinetic Energy Release distributions (KERDs) for various fragmentation channels were obtained. We have also calculated the potential energy curves (PECs) for ground and several excited states of NO and CO molecular ions using the multi-reference configuration interaction (MRCI) method. The obtained KERDs are discussed in the background of the calculated PECs as well as the simple Coulomb excitation model. Coulomb breakup of the unstable precursor molecular ion shows a clear preference for the N + O (and C + O) fragmentation channel.
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