Dynamics of the Rydberg state population of slow highly charged ions impinging a solid surface at arbitrary collision geometry
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We consider the population dynamics of the intermediate Rydberg states of highly charged ions (core charge Z GT GT 1, principal quantum number n(A) GT GT 1) interacting with solid surfaces at arbitrary collision geometry. The recently developed resonant two-state vector model for the grazing incidence (2012 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 45 215202) is extended to the quasi-resonant case and arbitrary angle of incidence. According to the model, the population probabilities depend both on the projectile parallel and perpendicular velocity components, in a complementary way. A cascade neutralization process for XeZ+ ions, for Z = 15-45, interacting with a conductive-surface is considered by taking into account the population dynamics. For an arbitrary collision geometry and given range of ionic velocities, a micro-staircase model for the simultaneous calculation of the kinetic energy gain and the charge state of the ion in front of the surface is proposed. The relevance of the obtained r...esults for the explanation of the formation of nanostructures on solid surfaces by slow highly charged ions for normal incidence geometry is briefly discussed.