Signatures of bond formation and bond scission dynamics in dissociative electron attachment to methane
We present a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the dynamics and angular dependence of dissociative electron attachment to methane. We show that a triply degenerate (T2) Feshbach resonance is responsible for the broad 10 eV dissociation peak in methane. This resonance alone is shown to correlate asymptotically to the various dissociation channels observed experimentally. The molecular-frame entrance amplitude for electron attachment is calculated for each component of the threefold degenerate resonance. By investigating the topology of the anion potential energy surfaces, we deduce the main pathways to two- and three-body breakup channels involving both bond scission and bond formation. The computed fragment angular distributions reproduce the main trends of the experimental measurements.