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Opt Express. 2015 Apr 20;23(8):10687-702. doi: 10.1364/OE.23.010687.

Ultrafast molecular orbital imaging based on attosecond photoelectron diffraction.


We present ab initio numerical study of ultrafast ionization dynamics of H(2)(+) as well as CO(2) and N(2) exposed to linearly polarized attosecond extreme ultraviolet pulses. When the molecules are aligned perpendicular to laser polarization direction, photonionization of these molecules show clear and distinguishing diffraction patterns in molecular attosecond photoelectron momentum distributions. The internuclear distances of the molecules are related to the position of the associated diffraction patterns, which can be determined with high accuracy. Moreover, the relative heights of the diffraction fringes contain fruitful information of the molecular orbital structures. We show that the diffraction spectra can be well produced using the two-center interference model. By adopting a simple inversion algorithm which takes into account the symmetry of the initial molecular orbital, we can retrieve the molecular orbital from which the electron is ionized. Our results offer possibility for imaging of molecular structure and orbitals by performing molecular attosecond photoelectron diffraction.


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