We demonstrate a possibility that helium surface electrons at cryogenic temperatures can be used as a new source of very low energy electrons. Since both electrons (e-) and hydrogen atoms (H) are bound on liquid helium surface, two-dimensional mixture gas of these two species is available on the surface. We found that low energy collision of e- and H drives electron attachment to form a negative hydrogen ion (H-) in the mixture. From our temperature dependence measurement of the reaction rate, it was found that another H atom participate in the reaction. Namely, the reaction is expressed as H+H+ e- → H- +H. Possible reaction mechanisms are discussed in terms of direct three-body process and dissociative attachment process. Measurements in applied magnetic field (B) show that the reaction rate coefficient is suppressed as ∼ B-2. This implies that electron spin singlet collision is relevant for electron attachment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)