Scalable methods for studying electron-impact ionization

Daniel Horner, University of California, Berkeley

Photo of Daniel Horner

Electron-impact ionization is a basic physical phenomenon that results in two or more free electrons. Due to mathematical complications, the formal theory of ionization has been rarely applied, even though it has been known for many years. We are interested in developing numerical methods to understand these processes.

Atomic Hydrogen, the simplest case of ionization, was solved using very large systems of linear equations. This approach is not feasible, both in storage and computational time, for systems with more electrons. This difficulty has led us to a new formulation that involving time propagation. As we add more electrons,
time propagation scales better with both memory and computer effort required.

Having developed more scalable methods we are able to solve ionization problems with targets containing more than one electron.

From microelectronics fabrication to dissociative attachment in biological systems, electronic collisions and ionization play a key role in many important phenomena. A detailed understanding of the electron scattering and ionization process will provide great insight into these and many other significant systems.

Abstract Author(s): Daniel Horner