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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Jon L: JC: Probing Time-Dependent Molecular Dipoles on the Attosecond Time Scale

Photoinduced molecular processes start with the interaction of the instantaneous electric field of the incident light with the electronic degrees of freedom. This early attosecond electronic motion impacts the fate of the photoinduced reactions. We report the first observation of attosecond time scale electron dynamics in a series of small- and medium-sized neutral molecules (N2, CO2, and C2H4), monitoring time-dependent variations of the parent molecular ion yield in the ionization by an attosecond pulse, and thereby probing the time-dependent dipole induced by a moderately strong near-infrared laser field. This approach can be generalized to other molecular species and may be regarded as a first example of molecular attosecond Stark spectroscopy.