Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Physics

Committee Member

Dr. Joan Marler, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Chad Sosolik

Committee Member

Dr. Bradley Meyer

Abstract

This thesis is a summary of the computational and experimental progress towards measuring the charge exchange cross-section of highly charged ions (HCIs). Electronic structure calculations were carried out for the molecular ion LiHe+ using NWChem on the Clemson University Palmetto Cluster. Potential energy surfaces for 40 electronic states are presented. The electronic configurations of the six lowest states have been identified by their energies in the separate atom limit, which deviate from experimental values by at most 1.2%. Future work will investigate higher charge states of LiHe and the interaction between low-Z HCIs and neutral gases. Two experimental apparatus were designed and constructed for experiments with HCIs. To aid in the detection of trapped HCIs, a time-of-flight mass spectrometer for radial extraction from Paul traps was constructed and tested using a Mg+ source. Lastly, a gas cell was designed and constructed for charge exchange cross-section measurements using HCIs produced in the Clemson University Electron Beam Ion Trap (CUEBIT).

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