Abstract

We report results of model calculations aimed at understanding the phenomenon of resonant laser-induced desorption. The calculations consider a diatomic molecule with a harmonic internal vibration adsorbed to a substrate in an end-on configuration with a van der Waals-type binding potential. Using the adiabatic (Born–Oppenheimer) approximation, we calculate quantum mechanically the change in the adsorption potential produced when the internal vibration is excited. Within this approximation, elastic tunneling transitions from bound to continuum states do not occur. The same problem is treated classically by direct numerical integration of the nonlinear classical equations of motion, both with and without damping. The exact classical results confirm the quantum adiabatic approximation. No evidence for chaotic behavior is found.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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