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Innershell Photoionization Studies of Neutral Atomic Nitrogen

Stolte, W. C.; Jonauskas, V.; Lindle, D. W.; Sant'Anna, M. M.; Savin, Daniel Wolf

Inner-shell ionization of a 1s electron by either photons or electrons is important for X-ray photoionized objects such as active galactic nuclei and electron-ionized sources such as supernova remnants. Modeling and interpreting observations of such objects requires accurate predictions for the charge state distribution (CSD), which results as the 1s-hole system stabilizes. Due to the complexity of the complete stabilization process, few modern calculations exist and the community currently relies on 40-year-old atomic data. Here, we present a combined experimental and theoretical study for inner-shell photoionization of neutral atomic nitrogen for photon energies of 403–475 eV. Results are reported for the total ion yield cross section, for the branching ratios for formation of N + , N2+, and N3+, and for the average charge state. We find significant differences when comparing to the data currently available to the astrophysics community. For example, while the branching ratio to N2+ is somewhat reduced, that for N + is greatly increased, and that to N3+, which was predicted to be zero, grows to »10% at the higher photon energies studied. This work demonstrates some of the shortcomings in the theoretical CSD data base for inner-shell ionization and points the way for the improvements needed to more reliably model the role of innershell ionization of cosmic plasmas.

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Title
The Astrophysical Journal
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-637X/818/2/149

More About This Work

Academic Units
Astrophysics Laboratory
Published Here
September 6, 2017