Rydberg states of alkali atoms on superfluid helium nanodroplets: Inside or outside?

Johann V. Pototschnig, Florian Lackner, Andreas W. Hauser*, Wolfgang E. Ernst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electronic excitations of an electron bound to an alkali metal ion inside a droplet of superfluid 4He are computed via a combination of helium density functional theory and the numerical integration of the Schrödinger equation for a single electron in a modified, He density dependent atomic pseudopotential. The application of a spectral method to the radial part of the valence electron wavefunction allows the computation of highly excited Rydberg states. For low principal quantum numbers, the energy required to push the electron outward is larger than the solvation energy of the ion. However, for higher principal quantum numbers the situation is reversed, which suggests the stability of a system where the ion sits inside the droplet while the valence electron orbits the nanodroplet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14718-14728
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Chemistry, Chemical Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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