Angular momentum branching ratios for electron-induced ionization: Atomic and model calculations

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## Abstract

We present calculations of the matrix elements for electron-induced ionization of core electrons of atoms. We use both self-consistent atomic potentials for accuracy and model potentials to gain physical insight. We pay particular attention to the angular momentum distribution of the two final-state electrons, especially when one of them lies near what would be the Fermi energy in a solid (i.e., as in an absorption fine-structure experiment). For nodeless core wave functions, in the dominant channel both final-state electrons have angular momentum one greater than that of the initial core state. For sufficiently deeply bound states, this first approximate selection rule holds until the incident electron energy exceeds the ionization threshold by at least 500 eV, i.e., over the experimentally relevant range. It is also possible to determine the angular momentum distribution of the final-state electron. The EXAFS-like electron tends to have angular momentum one greater than that of the initial core state, even in some cases where the first approximate selection rule does not hold. (EXAFS is extended x-ray-absorption fine structure.) The strongest trend is that the dipole component in a partial-wave expansion of the Coulomb interaction dominates the matrix element. In these studies, careful treatment of not just the core state but also the unbound states is crucial; we show that the conventional orthogonalized plane-wave approximation is inadequate, giving incorrect ordering of the channels. For model potentials with an adjustable screening length, low-lying bound resonances are found to play an important role.