(redirected from Photoionisation)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Photoionisation: Photoionization, Photoexcitation


The ejection of one or more electrons from an atom, molecule, or positive ion following the absorption of one or more photons. The process of electron ejection from matter following the absorption of electromagnetic radiation has been under investigation for over a century. The earliest measurements involved the ultraviolet irradiation of metal surfaces. The theoretical interpretation of this phenomenon, known as the photoelectric effect, played an important role in establishing quantum mechanics. It was shown that, contrary to classical ideas, energy exchanges between radiation and matter are mediated by integral numbers of photons. In the gas phase the photoeffect is called either photoionization (atoms, molecules, and their positive ions) or photodetachment (atomic and molecular negative ions). See Photoemission

Photoionization involves a radiative bound-free transition from an initial state consisting of n photons and an atom, molecule, or ion in a bound state to a final continuum state consisting of a residual ion (or an atom in the case of photodetachment) and m free electrons; that is,

In the simplest atomic photoionization process a single electron is ejected from an atom following the absorption of a single photon. Each mode of fragmentation defines a final-state channel that is characterized by the energy and angular momentum of the outgoing electron as well as the excitation state of the residual ion. Since the photoionization process is endoergic, each channel has a well-defined threshold energy below which the channel is energetically closed. The threshold photon energy for a particular channel is equal to the binding energy of the electron that is to be ejected plus the excitation energy, if any, of the residual ion.

Above threshold, the energy carried off by the outgoing electron represents the balance between the energy supplied by the photon and the binding energy of the electron plus the excitation energy of the residual ion (neglecting the small recoil of the heavy ion). A photoelectron spectrum is characterized by a discrete set of peaks, each peak being associated with a particular state of the residual ion. Information on the excitation state of the ion following photoionization can also be obtained by monitoring the fluorescence emitted in the subsequent radiative decay of the state. One of the earliest applications of photoionization measurements was the investigation of the structure of atoms by determining the binding energies of both outer- and inner-shell electrons by means of photoelectron spectroscopy. See Atomic structure and spectra

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(foh-toh-ÿ-ŏ-ni-zay -shŏn) The ionization of an atom or molecule by photons of electromagnetic radiation. A photon can only remove an electron if the photon energy exceeds the first ionization potential of the atom or molecule. The excess energy is shared between the electron and the ion so that the electron can leave the atom with considerable velocity. If the radiation is of sufficiently high energy more strongly bound electrons will be removed, leaving the resulting ion in an excited state. See also recombination line emission.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006


(physical chemistry)
The removal of one or more electrons from an atom or molecule by absorption of a photon of visible or ultraviolet light. Also known as atomic photoelectric effect.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Photorecombination, the third step in the recollision model, is the inverse process of photoionisation [59] and therefore HHG and photoionization must exhibit the same resonances.
The method applied the soft photoionisation technique to obtain stable pseudomolecular ions [M - Br + O]- and [M - 2Br + O]- in Q1 which enabled the use of isotopically labelled internal standard for quantification [116].
ION SCIENCE says further underlining its position at the forefront of gas detection monitoring instrumentation for occupational health and the environment, it is refocusing on its range of MiniPID (miniature photoionisation detection) sensors during 2016.
The new MultiRAE Benzene includes an innovative six-tube cartridge -- called RAE SepTube Cartridge-- that operates in conjunction with the unit's photoionisation (PID) sensor.