Controlled stopping of nuclear vibrational wave packets in D2+

Uwe Thumm, Thomas Niederhausen
James R. Macdonald Laboratory, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

Ionization of neutral D2 molecules by a short pump laser pulse may create a vibrational wave packet on the lowest 1sσg+ adiabatic potential curve of the D2+ molecular ion. We investigated the possibility of manipulating the bound motion, dissociation, and vibrational--state composition of D2+ nuclear wave packets with a sequence of ultra--short, intense, near infrared control laser pulses. Our numerical results show that a single control pulse with an appropriate time delay can quench the vibrational state distribution of the nuclear wave packet by increasing the contribution of a selected stationary vibrational state of D2+ to more than 50%. We also demonstrate that a second control pulse with a carefully adjusted delay can further squeeze the vibrational-state distribution, suggesting a multi--pulse control protocol for preparing stationary excited nuclear wave functions. With the subsequent fragmentation of the molecular ion with a probe pulse, we suggest a scheme for experimentally assessing the degree at which the nuclear motion in small molecules can be controlled, cf., Phys. Rev. 77, 013407 (2008).

This work was supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, and by the National Science Foundation.

Presented at DAMOP, May 2008, in State College, PA.


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