Control of ultrafast molecular photodissociation by laser-field-induced potentials.

Nature chemistry

PubMedID: 25143213

Corrales ME, González-Vázquez J, Balerdi G, Solá IR, de Nalda R, Bañares L. Control of ultrafast molecular photodissociation by laser-field-induced potentials. Nat Chem. 2014;6(9):785-90.
Experiments aimed at understanding ultrafast molecular processes are now routine, and the notion that external laser fields can constitute an additional reagent is also well established. The possibility of externally controlling a reaction with radiation increases immensely when its intensity is sufficiently high to distort the potential energy surfaces at which chemists conceptualize reactions take place. Here we explore the transition from the weak- to the strong-field regimes of laser control for the dissociation of a polyatomic molecule, methyl iodide. The control over the yield of the photodissociation reaction proceeds through the creation of a light-induced conical intersection. The control of the velocity of the product fragments requires external fields with both high intensities and short durations. This is because the mechanism by which control is exerted involves modulating the potentials around the light-induced conical intersection, that is, creating light-induced potentials.