Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Nora Berrah

Second Advisor

Dr. John D. Bosak

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas W. Gorczyca

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Emmanual Y. Kamber


Photoexcitation and photoionization studies of free atoms and molecules in the gas phase provide a unique view into various aspects of radiation-matter interactions that are used as basic building blocks in many branches of physics, such as Solid State, Plasma Physics, Photochemistry or Astrophysics. With the advent of third generation synchrotron light sources delivering high photon flux (>1015 photons/s) with unprecedented resolving power over a broad energy range, it has become possible to investigate in great detail not only the internal structure of the targets, but also the dynamics of the process. Born in the 1960s,photoelectron spectroscopy specifically analyzes the kinetic energy and emission angle of the ionized electrons. It is now coming to maturity with the availability of spectrometers designed to achieve high performances. This thesis work presents three examples of experiments made possible by the combination of the radiation from the Advanced Light Source with state of the art spectrometers. First, the measurements of the partial photoionization cross sections below the second ionization potential in argon and neon have uncovered weak and narrow resonances. Their mirroring profiles in the two open channels, which had prevented them from being detected in non-differential measurements, have been explained by their LS-forbidden nature. Second, the Auger spectra produced by decay of core-excited HF have revealed specific nuclear wavepacket interferences that occur when the electronic lifetime, the nucleardynamics and the excitation prolongation, defined as the inverse of the photon bandwidth, have comparable time scales. Third, the analysis of the underlying structure in the first ionization band for free C60 has allowed the vibronic coupling of the singly charged molecular ion to be characterized.


5th Advisor: Dr. John A. Tanis

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Physics Commons