Stimulated predissociation of CO2+ using intense ultrashort laser pulses

J. McKenna, A.M. Sayler, B. Gaire, Nora G. Johnson, K.D. Carnes, B.D. Esry, I. Ben-Itzhak
James R. Macdonald Laboratory, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

The carbon monoxide dication is an unusual species that is metastably bound despite strong electrostatic repulsion of its charged centers. Normally, the majority of the CO2+ bound vibrational states decay by predissociation, with a lifetime on the order of nanoseconds to microseconds, due to strong coupling with a repulsive state. By forming the CO2+ ions as a molecular ion beam, we explore the possibility of manipulating this coupling using an intense (~1014 W/cm2), ultrashort (~40 fs), 790 nm laser pulse. Only the v=0 level of the ground electronic state survives the trip from source to laser interaction point, thereby, enabling a kinematically complete study of vibrationally cold CO2+ using a coincidence 3D momentum imaging technique.

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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