Mechanisms for double electron removal from light molecules by intense laser pulses: fast clocks

A.S.Alnaser, S.Voss, B. Shan, C.Maharjan, B.Ullrich, P.Ranitovic, X.M.Tong, C.D.Lin. C.L.Cocke
J.R. Macdonald Laboratory, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA

The dissociation of light molecules has been studied using momentum imaging techniques. We focus here on the production of singly charged ion pairs. Two experiments will be discussed. First, the kinetic energy release of proton pairs from the double ionization of hydrogen by fast laser pulses is used to follow the development of the vibrational wave packet of the molecular ion in real time using the optical cycle as a clock. The mechanisms of rescattering, sequential and enhanced ionization are clearly identified in the momentum spectra and a detailed model for these processes is presented for the interpretation. Second, the operation of rescattering double ionization in the case of nitrogen and oxygen molecules is discussed. The ionization is found to proceed through well defined states of the dication of the molecule. The structure of the outer orbital of each molecule is clearly displayed in the angular distributions of the fragments. At higher intensities the molecules seem to align dynamically in the field.

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 the Heraeus Seminar: Manipulation of Few-Body Quantum Dynamics, June 2004 in Bad Honnef, Germany.

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