Controlling vibrational wave packets with intense, few-cycle laser pulses

Hiromichi Niikura*, D. M. Villeneuve, P. B. Corkum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Using three precisely timed laser pulses, we show experimentally that subvibrational period, nonresonant laser radiation can control a vibrational wave packet. One pulse launches the wave packet and the second modifies the potential energy surfaces as the wave packet moves and the third probes its time evolution by Coulomb explosion imaging. First, we observe D2+ wave packets up to the first half revival without a control pulse. Next, we apply the control pulse to split the wave packet when the wave packet is near the outer turning point. We observe that one piece remains in the bound state and the other propagates to the dissociation continuum. By varying the delay between the pump and control pulses, we control the branching ratios. By a quantum mechanical calculation, we also show that if carrier-envelope phases of subvibrational period pulses are controlled, it can break left-right symmetry during dissociation, freezing the electron on one of the two dissociating fragments during dissociation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021402
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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