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photoionization

[foh-toh-ahy-uh-nuh-zey-shuh n] /ˌfoʊ toʊˌaɪ ə nəˈzeɪ ʃən/
noun, Physics.
1.
the phenomenon in which the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by an atom in a gas induces the atom to emit a bound electron and thereby become ionized.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15; photo- + ionization
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for photoionization
  • photoionization cross sections and, where appropriate, autoionizations are also calculated.
Encyclopedia Article for photoionization

photo-ionization

the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter resulting in the dissociation of that matter into electrically charged particles. The simplest example, the photoelectric effect (q.v.), occurs when light shines on a piece of metal, causing the ejection of electrons. Another category of photo-ionization involves the disruption of covalent chemical bonds, producing positively and negatively charged fragments; such a reaction is often called the primary process of a photochemical reaction (q.v.).

Learn more about photo-ionization with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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