Solvation and Spectral Line Shifts of Chromium Atoms in Helium Droplets Based on a Density Functional Theory Approach

Martin Ratschek*, Johann Valentin Pototschnig, Andreas Hauser, Wolfgang Ernst*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction of an electronically excited, single chromium (Cr) atom with superfluid helium nanodroplets of various size (10 to 2000 helium (He) atoms) is studied with helium density functional theory. Solvation energies and pseudo-diatomic potential energy surfaces are determined for Cr in its ground state as well as in the y7P, a5S, and y5P excited states. The necessary Cr–He pair potentials are calculated by standard methods of molecular orbital-based electronic structure theory. In its electronic ground state the Cr atom is found to be fully submerged in the droplet. A solvation shell structure is derived from fluctuations in the radial helium density. Electronic excitations of an embedded Cr atom are simulated by confronting the relaxed helium density (ρHe), obtained for Cr in the ground state, with interaction pair potentials of excited states. The resulting energy shifts for the transitions z7P ← a7S, y7P ← a7S, z5P ← a5S, and y5P ← a5S are compared to recent fluorescence and photoionization experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6622-6631
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)
  • Experimental
  • Theoretical

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