Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Chemical Physics 86, 157 (1987); DOI:10.1063/1.452774. The Journal of Chemical Physics is copyrighted by The American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


A semiempirical model of single differential cross sections (SDCS) for ionization of water vapor by fast electrons and bare ions is presented. At low secondary-electron energy, the model is based on an asymptotic expansion of the first Born approximation with coefficients, that are independent of projectile properties, evaluated from experimental photoabsorption and protonimpact ionization data. As the secondary-electron energy increases, the model converges to a binary-encounter approximation. Comparisons with measured differential, total, and dissociative cross sections for ionization of water by fast electrons are used to test the model. For primary electrons with energy greater than about 500 eV, agreement with these data is generally within experimental uncertainty; however, some discrepancies of uncertain origin exist.

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