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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Apr 30;92(17):173004. Epub 2004 Apr 28.

Observation of enhanced field-free molecular alignment by two laser pulses.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, 8000 Arhus C, Denmark.


We show experimentally that field-free alignment of iodobenzene molecules, induced by a single, intense, linearly polarized 1.4-ps-long laser pulse, can be strongly enhanced by dividing the pulse into two optimally synchronized pulses of the same duration. For a given total energy of the two-pulse sequence the degree of alignment is maximized with an intensity ratio of 1:3 and by sending the second pulse near the time where the alignment created by the first pulse peaks.

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