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Enhancement of electron-impact ionization induced by warm dense environments
Physical Review E  (IF2.529),  Pub Date : 2021-09-13, DOI: 10.1103/physreve.104.035204
Ping Zhang, Yang Jin, Xiaolei Zan, Pengfei Liu, Yongjun Li, Cheng Gao, Yong Hou, Jiaolong Zeng, Jianmin Yuan

Studies have shown significant discrepancies between the recent experiment [Berg et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 055002 (2018)] and current theoretical calculations on the electron-impact ionization cross section of ions in warm dense magnesium. Here, we present a systematic study the effects of the ionic correlations and free-electron screening on the electron-impact ionization of ions in warm dense matter. The ionic correlation and the free-electron screening effects yield additional Hermitian terms to the calculation of the ionic central-force-field potential, which significantly change the electronic structure compared with that of the isolated ion. In calculating the electron-impact ionization, we describe the impact and ionized electrons using a damped-distorted wave function, which considers the momentum relaxation of free electrons due to collisions with other free electrons and ions. We reproduce the electron-impact ionization process for Mg7+ in the solid-density plasma and increase the ionization cross section by one order of magnitude compared with that of the isolated ion, which excellently agrees with the experimental result of Berg et al.