The scattering of electrons with kinetic energies down to a few meV by para-xylene and para-difluorobenzene has been observed experimentally with an electron beam energy resolution of 0.95 to 1.5 meV (full width half maximum). At low electron energies the collisions can be considered as cold scattering events because the de Broglie wavelength of the electron is considerably larger than the target dimensions. The scattering cross sections measured rise rapidly at low energy due to virtual state scattering. The nature of this scattering process is discussed using s- and p-wave phase shifts derived from the experimental data. Scattering lengths are derived of, respectively, -9.5+/-0.5 and -8.0+/-0.5 a.u. for para-xylene and para-difluorobenzene. The virtual state effect is interpreted in terms of nuclear diabatic and partially adiabatic models, involving the electronic and vibronic symmetries of the unoccupied orbitals in the target species. The concept of direct and indirect virtual state scattering is introduced, through which the present species, in common with carbon dioxide and benzene, scatter through an indirect virtual state process, whereas other species, such as perfluorobenzene, scatter through a direct process. (C) 2005 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics