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  1. Abstract

    Despite their importance in a wide variety of applications, the estimation of ionization cross sections for large molecules continues to present challenges for both experiment and theory. Machine learning (ML) algorithms have been shown to be an effective mechanism for estimating cross section data for atomic targets and a select number of molecular targets. We present an efficient ML model for predicting ionization cross sections for a broad array of molecular targets. Our model is a 3-layer neural network that is trained using published experimental datasets. There is minimal input to the network, making it widely applicable. We show that with training on as few as 10 molecular datasets, the network is able to predict the experimental cross sections of additional molecules with an accuracy similar to experimental uncertainties in existing data. As the number of training molecular datasets increased, the network’s predictions became more accurate and, in the worst case, were within 30% of accepted experimental values. In many cases, predictions were within 10% of accepted values. Using a network trained on datasets for 25 different molecules, we present predictions for an additional 27 molecules, including alkanes, alkenes, molecules with ring structures, and DNA nucleotide bases.

     
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  2. Over the last decade, it has become clear that for heavy ion projectiles, the projectile’s transverse coherence length must be considered in theoretical models. While traditional scattering theory often assumes that the projectile has an infinite coherence length, many studies have demonstrated that the effect of projectile coherence cannot be ignored, even when the projectile-target interaction is within the perturbative regime. This has led to a surge in studies that examine the effects of the projectile’s coherence length. Heavy-ion collisions are particularly well-suited to this because the projectile’s momentum can be large, leading to a small deBroglie wavelength. In contrast, electron projectiles that have larger deBroglie wavelengths and coherence effects can usually be safely ignored. However, the recent demonstration of sculpted electron wave packets opens the door to studying projectile coherence effects in electron-impact collisions. We report here theoretical triple differential cross-sections (TDCSs) for the electron-impact ionization of helium using Bessel and Laguerre-Gauss projectiles. We show that the projectile’s transverse coherence length affects the shape and magnitude of the TDCSs and that the atomic target’s position within the projectile beam plays a significant role in the probability of ionization. We also demonstrate that projectiles with large coherence lengths result in cross-sections that more closely resemble their fully coherent counterparts.

     
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  4. Abstract We present theoretical studies of above threshold ionization (ATI) using sculpted laser pulses. The time-dependent Schrödinger equation is solved to calculate the ATI energy and momentum spectra, and a qualitative understanding of the electron motion after ionization is explored using the simple man’s model and a classical model that solves Newton’s equation of motion. Results are presented for Gaussian and Airy laser pulses with identical power spectra, but differing spectral phases. The simulations show that the third order spectral phase of the Airy pulse, which can alter the temporal envelope of the electric field, causes changes to the timing of ionization and the dynamics of the rescattering process. Specifically, the use of Airy pulses in the ATI process results in a shift of the Keldysh plateau cutoff to lower energy due to a decreased pondermotive energy of the electron in the laser field, and the side lobes of the Airy laser pulse change the number and timing of rescattering events. This translates into changes to the high-order ATI plateau and intra- and intercycle interference features. Our results also show that laser pulses with identical carrier envelope phases and nearly identical envelopes yield different photoelectron momentum distributions, which are a direct result of the pulse’s spectral phase. 
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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
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