Laser-induced Coulomb explosion imaging for studying fast molecular dynamics

Igor Litvinyuk
(Physics Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas),

Francois Legare
(Chemistry Department, Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec),

Kevin F. Lee
(Physics Department, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario),

Patrick Dooley, David Villeneuve, Paul Corkum
(National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario)

Strong ultra-short (<10 fs) laser pulses cause multiple ionization of molecules followed by immediate dissociation (Coulomb explosion). Measuring momenta of all ion fragments allows to reconstruct the structure of molecular ionbefore the explosion. We demonstrate that for intense 8 fs pulses this structure approaches an equilibrium structure of a neutral molecule. Using two ultra-short laser pulses with variable delay one can observe fast dynamics of nuclear wave packets with sub-10 fs time resolution. We present pump-probe measurements of fast nuclear motion in D_2 and SO_2 molecules.

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.

Submitted to DAMOP, May 2004 in Tucson, AZ.

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