Physical Review A, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol:70 issue:5 pages:1-6
The probability of the ejection of a neutral atom in a specific quantum state after keV-ion beam sputtering is often interpreted in terms of the interaction between the atomic states of the escaping atom and the electronic states of the solid. In this work, we examined this interplay in the sputtering of iridium as this element has-unlike the elements employed in previous investigations-a complex atomic structure due to strong configuration interactions. Double-resonant two-photon laser ionization is used to probe the sputtered Ir atoms yielding information about the probability for an ejected atom to populate a specific atomic state and its escape velocity. The qualitative features of the corresponding population partition and state-selective velocity distributions show the influence of the excitation energy and the electronic structure of the different atomic states. A comparison is made between the experimental data and predictions from the resonant electron transfer description.