Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

L. G. Christophorou

Committee Members

R. J. Lovell, R. O'brilly, F. Williams


Introduction: The study of low energy electron attachment to molecules is of fundamental importance in both the physical and biological sciences. These processes are important in the physical sciences because many molecular parameters can be directly or indirectly determined from electron attachment studies. Such parameters include electron affinities of molecules, electron attachment rate constants and cross sections, autoionization lifetimes of transient negative ion species, bond dissociation energies, and shapes of molecular and negative ion potential energy curves. Electron attachment studies are important in biology because of the large number of low energy electrons that are produced when ionizing radiation interacts with matter. The elucidation of reaction mechanisms for these electrons is a crucial step in the development of a coherent picture of radiation biology. The importance of electron attachment studies in the physical and biological sciences is obvious, and related details have been discussed in several books [see, e.g., McDaniel (1964), Szent-Gyorgyi (1960, 1968) and Christophorou (1971)].

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