Control of Near-Threshold Detachment Cross Sections via Laser Polarization
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The behavior of near-threshold cross sections for dissociation of a target into a pair of particles, as described by Wigner's threshold law, can depend sensitively on the angular momentum of the particles. In this Letter, we investigate the near-threshold nonresonant two-photon detachment process in the negative ion of gold. The expected s-wave threshold behavior is observed with linearly polarized light. Closure of the s-wave channel is realized by using circular polarization, allowing the first observation of a d-wave threshold. Practical applications are discussed, including extensions which could prove valuable for investigations of negative ions with near-threshold structure.
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