Control of the rotational motion of molecules

Casey Bloomquist
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-04-19 10:00 - 11:00
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Valery Milner
Intended Audience: 

Sequences of ultrashort laser pulses have been used to control rotational excitation of ensembles of molecules. Control of the directionality of molecular rotation has be achieved by varying the polarization and delay between a pair of pulses (a "double kick" scheme) or a train of many pulses with the field polarization rotating from pulse to pulse (a "chiral train" scheme). In this work we perform experiments with both the double-kick and chiral-train techniques for thorough comparison and characterization of both methods. We show that in contrast to the double-kick approach, chiral trains enable simultaneous control of rotational excitation and rotational directionality. We also demonstrate the ability of both techniques to generate counter-rotation of molecular spin isomers (here, ortho- and para-nitrogen) and isotopologues (here, 14N2  and 15N2).

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