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Recent progress towards a quantum theory of laser-induced desorption and related phenomena is reviewed, for specific examples. These comprise the photodesorption of NO from Pt(111), the scanning tunnelling microscope and laser- induced desorption and switching of H at Si(100), and the electron stimulated desorption and dissociation of CO at Ru(0001). The theoretical methods used for nuclear dynamics range from open-system density matrix theory over nonadiabatically coupled multi-state models to electron-nuclear wavepackets. Also, aspects of time-dependent spectroscopy to probe ultrafast nonadiabatic processes at surfaces will be considered for the example of two-photon photoemission of solvated electrons in ice layers on Cu(111)

Correlated many-electron dynamics : application to inelastic electron scattering at a metal film
(2005)

The multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree-Fock and the time-dependent configuration interaction singles method are applied to the correlated many-electron dynamics of a one-dimensional jellium model system. We study the scattering of an initially free electron at a model film in the framework of both approaches. In particular, both methods are compared with regard to how they describe the underlying physical processes, namely inelastic electron scattering, inverse photoemission, and electron impact ionization

In this paper, we present quantum dynamical calculations on electron correlation dynamics in atoms and molecules using explicitly time-dependent ab initio configuration interaction theory. The goals are (i) to show that in which cases it is possible to switch off the electronic correlation by ultrashort laser pulses, and (ii) to understand the temporal evolution and the time scale on which it reappears. We characterize the appearance of correlation through electron-electron scattering when starting from an uncorrelated state, and we identify pathways for the preparation of a Hartree-Fock state from the correlated, true ground state. Exemplary results for noble gases, alkaline earth elements, and selected molecules are provided. For Mg we show that the uncorrelated state can be prepared using a shaped ultrashort laser pulse.

We apply the multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree-Fock method to electronic structure calculations and show that quantum chemical information can be obtained with this explicitly time-dependent approach. Different equations of motion are discussed, as well as the numerical cost. The two-electron integrals are calculated using a natural potential expansion, of which we describe the convergence behavior in detail

Ultrafast electronic excitations of small sodium clusters and the onset of electron thermalization
(2009)

In this paper we report simulations of the ultrafast laser excitation and relaxation of the correlated valence electrons of a Na-8 cluster. The aim is twofold: first, while the total energy stays constant when the exciting laser pulse is over, we observe that the entropy computed from the reduced one electron density matrix rises on a much longer time scale. We discuss whether this can be understood as the onset of the thermalization of a finite system. Second, we describe this process with eight different methods of wavefunction-based electronic structure theory, which have been adapted for an explicitly time-dependent description. Their respective advantages and limitations for the simulation of the excitation and subsequent relaxation are explained.