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Sub-femtosecond Laser-Manipulation of Chemical Bond Cleavage
The making and breaking ofchemical bonds is determined by the molecular vibrational period which istypically in the femtosecond domain. Electrons are responsible for the creationof the potential energy landscapes that drive atomic motion and adapt on evenfaster timescales reaching the atomic unit of time (1 a.u. = 24 attoseconds). The interplay between the motion of electronsand the nuclei forms the basis for all chemical reactions and offers thepotential to steer even the fastest chemical reactions by controllingelectronic motion. Near-single-cycle laser pulses with well-definedwaveforms are poised to track in real time and control electronicmotion. They offer novel means for steering chemical bonds and synthesizing newlaser-induced chemical products.
In this talk the author will presentrecent results on simple and polyatomic molecules where selective bond-cleavageon sub-femtosecond time scale was achieved. The author will show how it was possible to steer hydrogen's ejection as well as its migration in hydrocarbonmolecules using CEP-tagged reaction microscopy. In addition, bond-specificmanipulation in nearly all fragmentation pathways, following single and doubleionization, of asymmetric triatomic molecules will be presented. Furthermore,brief general introduction on atoms and molecules in intense ultrashort laserpulses will be presented; with the simplest molecule - the D2+- as an example exhibitingan obvious case for attosecond directional control of electronlocalization on different sides of the molecule. The new sub-femtosecondcontrol scheme demonstrated in these studies reveals the capability ofattosecond meteorology in achieving sub-femtosecond-controlled chemistry notonly for processes inside isolated molecules but also in molecules in solutionsand on surfaces.
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