Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

David M. Schrader

Second Advisor

Dmitri Babikov

Third Advisor

Benjamin Brown, Qadir Timerghazin

Abstract

There has been a large amount of work studying positron and positronium (Ps) binding to atoms. Twelve atoms (including Ps) are known to bind with a positron and 14 atoms won't. For Ps binding, 12 atoms are found to bind with Ps and 2 atoms do not. For both positron and Ps binding to atoms, we find that the known binding energy can be fitted to a simple expression involving several common physical properties. Positron binding energies can be fitted using the parameters of ionization potentials, polarizabilities, and the number of s electrons of the atoms; while Ps binding energies can be fitted using the covalent radii, the number of s electrons, and the product of ionization potentials and electron affinities. The fitted relationships are tested on the unbound atoms and bound atoms not involved in the fitting. Then these two best-fit equations are used to predict the binding energies of positron-atom and Ps-atom systems for all other unstudied atoms through Bi. The results are discussed and analyzed theoretically. The models and the results appear to be reliable.