Experimental studies of the dissociative recombination of H3+

Mats Larsson
Department of Physics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Dissociative recombination (DR) of molecular ions with electrons is known to be a process which can generate much controversy, and in no case is this more apparent than for H3+. It is not only that different experimental techniques give different results for the DR rate constant of H3+, it is also so that similar techniques give different results. And when similar techniques give similar results, the interpretations differ! The lack of ab initio calculations of the recombination efficiency has left the experimentalists without theoretical guidance, although simple Franck-Condon arguments in the past have been used to advance the notion that DR of H3+ must proceed very slowly. (As will follow from the next talk, the lack of ab initio results will soon be history.) The present situation regarding experimental studies of DR of H3+ will be reviewed, with particular emphasis on results emerging from ion storage rings.