Field-Free Three Dimensional Molecular Axis Alignment

Underwood, Jonathan; Sussman, Benjamin J. and Stolow, Albert (2005). Field-Free Three Dimensional Molecular Axis Alignment. Physical Review Letters, 94 p. 143002.




We investigate strategies for field-free three dimensional molecular axis alignment using strong nonresonant laser fields under experimentally realistic conditions. Using the polarizabilites and rotational constants of an asymmetric top rotor molecule (ethene, C2H4), we consider three different methods for axis alignment of a Boltzmann distribution of rotors at 4 K. Specifically, we compare the use of impulsive kick laser pulses having both linear and elliptical polarization to the use of elliptically polarized switched laser pulses. We show that an enhanced degree of field-free three dimensional alignment of ground vibronic state molecules obtains from the use of two orthogonally polarized, time-separated laser pulses.

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