Laser-induced Coulomb explosion of 1,4–diiodobenzene molecules: Studies of isolated molecules and molecules in helium nanodroplets

  • Coulomb explosion of 1,4–diiodobenzene molecules, isolated or embedded in helium nanodroplets, is induced by irradiation with an intense femtosecond laser pulse. The recoiling ion fragments are probed by time-of-flight measurements and two-dimensional velocity map imaging. Correlation analysis of the emission directions of I+ ions recoiling from each end of the molecules reveals significant deviation from axial recoil, i.e., where the I+ ions leave strictly along the I-I symmetry axis. For isolated molecules, the relative angular distribution of the I+ ions is centered at 180∘, corresponding to perfect axial recoil, but with a full width at half maximum of 30∘. For molecules inside He droplets, the width of the distribution increases to 45∘. These results provide a direct measure of the accuracy of Coulomb explosion as a probe of the spatial orientation of molecules, which is particularly relevant in connection with laser-induced molecular alignment and orientation. In addition, our studies show how it is possible to identify fragmentation pathways of the Coulomb explosion for the isolated 1,4–diiodobenzene molecules. Finally, for the 1,4–diiodobenzene molecules in He droplets, it is shown that the angular correlation between fragments from the Coulomb explosion is preserved after they have interacted with the He environment.

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Author:Lars Christiansen, Jens H. Nielsen, Lauge Christensen, Benjamin Shepperson, Dominik Pentlehner, Henrik Stapelfeldt
Parent Title (English):Physical Review A
Document Type:Contribution to a Periodical
Publication Year:2016
Tag:Coulomb explosion; Helium nanodroplets; Isolated Molecules
faculties / departments:Fakultät für Chemische Technologie und Wirtschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 54 Chemie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 62 Ingenieurwissenschaften / 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und zugeordnete Tätigkeiten