Intense laser-induced molecular processes:

From imaging to control


M. Peters1*, T. T. Nguyen-Dang1, O. Atabek2

1 Département de Chimie, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4

2 Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud 11, Bâtiment 350, 91405, Orsay, CEDEX, France

* Corresponding author: E-mail:

Received: 18 November 2010; revised version accepted: 06 December 2010



     Electromagnetic field induced imaging and control of ionization or dissociation processes are better understood while referring to basic mechanisms which are molecular non-linear responses to intense and eventually ultrashort laser pulses. We are reviewing some of such mechanisms as bond softening, barrier lowering, vibrational trapping, dynamical dissociation quenching for the nuclear motions and tunneling- acceleration-recollision for the electronic motions. We then discuss two applications in relation with experimental developments dealing with very recent imaging and control techniques, using attosecond time scale laser excitations. The two colour (XUV-atto) pump-(IR) probe spectroscopy leads to an imaging of the ground state molecular ion H2+ as resulting from the sudden ionization of H2. The electron diffraction allows a structural determination of CO2 geometry. Model assumptions are thoroughly discussed and put in relation with experimental feasibility, robustness and efficiency.


Keywords: Laser-Molecule Interactions; Dissociative Ionization; Laser Molecular Imaging and Control; Attosecond Pump-Probe Spectroscopy; Electron Diffraction.


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