Dynamics of metal electron excitation in molecular dipole-surface collisions

Z. Kirson*, R. B. Gerber, A. Nitzan, M. A. Ratner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Electron-hole pair excitations in low energy collisions of dipolar molecules with metal surface are studied in the framework of one-dimensional independent electron model. The motion of the incoming (rigid) molecule is treated classically and is coupled to the electron dynamics, which is treated quantum mechanically through the timedependent self-consistent field (TDSCF) approximation. Model calculations were carried out for NO and HCl molecules colliding with surface of Li and Al. The average fraction of collision energy converted to electron-hole pair excitation 〈ΔE〉 E and the probability for trapping due to this process were evaluated for collision energies in the range 0.01-10 eV. The effects of the pure dipolar electron-molecule interaction is compared to that of the short range interaction. It is concluded that the (screened) long range dipolar part of the electron-molecule interaction can play an important role in the collisional energy transfer between dipolar molecules and metal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 2 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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