We present a model for laboratory-frame photoelectron angular distributions in direct photodetachment from (in principle) any molecular orbital using linearly polarized light. A transparent mathematical approach is used to generalize the Cooper-Zare central-potential model to anionic states of any mixed character. In the limit of atomic-anion photodetachment, the model reproduces the Cooper-Zare formula. In the case of an initial orbital described as a superposition of s and p-type functions, the model yields the previously obtained s-p mixing formula. The formalism is further advanced using the Hanstorp approximation, whereas the relative scaling of the partial-wave cross-sections is assumed to follow the Wigner threshold law. The resulting model describes the energy dependence of photoelectron anisotropy for any atomic, molecular, or cluster anions, usually without requiring a direct calculation of the transition dipole matrix elements. As a benchmark case, we apply the p-d variant of the model to the experimental results for NO- photodetachment and show that the observed anisotropy trend is described well using physically meaningful values of the model parameters. Overall, the presented formalism delivers insight into the photodetachment process and affords a new quantitative strategy for analyzing the photoelectron angular distributions and characterizing mixed-character molecular orbitals using photoelectron imaging spectroscopy of negative ions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry