Ultrafast electron diffraction imaging of bond breaking in di-ionized acetylene.


Visualizing chemical reactions as they occur requires atomic spatial and femtosecond temporal resolution. Here, we report imaging of the molecular structure of acetylene (C2H2) 9 femtoseconds after ionization. Using mid-infrared laser-induced electron diffraction (LIED), we obtained snapshots as a proton departs the [C2H2]2+ ion. By introducing an additional laser field, we also demonstrate control over the ultrafast dissociation process and resolve different bond dynamics for molecules oriented parallel versus perpendicular to the LIED field. These measurements are in excellent agreement with a quantum chemical description of field-dressed molecular dynamics.

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@article{Wolter2016UltrafastED, title={Ultrafast electron diffraction imaging of bond breaking in di-ionized acetylene.}, author={Benjamin Wolter and Michael G Pullen and A. -T. Le and Matthias Baudisch and Katharina Doblhoff-Dier and Arne Senftleben and Micha{\"{e}l Hemmer and C D Schr{\"{o}ter and Joachim Ullrich and T Pfeifer and Robert Moshammer and Stefanie Gr{\"a}fe and Oriol Vendrell and C . D . Lin and Jens Biegert}, journal={Science}, year={2016}, volume={354 6310}, pages={308-312} }