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Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 24;6:7262. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8262.

Imaging an aligned polyatomic molecule with laser-induced electron diffraction.

Author information

1
ICFO-Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Mediterranean Technology Park, Castelldefels (Barcelona) 08860, Spain.
2
J. R. Macdonald Laboratory, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-2604, USA.
3
Universität Kassel, Institut für Physik und CINSaT, Heinrich-Plett-Strasse 40, Kassel 34132, Germany.
4
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, Heidelberg 69117, Germany.
5
1] Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, Heidelberg 69117, Germany [2] Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Bundesallee 100, Braunschweig 38116, Germany.
6
1] ICFO-Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Mediterranean Technology Park, Castelldefels (Barcelona) 08860, Spain [2] Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico, 1919 Lomas Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA [3] ICREA-Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona 08010, Spain.

Abstract

Laser-induced electron diffraction is an evolving tabletop method that aims to image ultrafast structural changes in gas-phase polyatomic molecules with sub-Ångström spatial and femtosecond temporal resolutions. Here we demonstrate the retrieval of multiple bond lengths from a polyatomic molecule by simultaneously measuring the C-C and C-H bond lengths in aligned acetylene. Our approach takes the method beyond the hitherto achieved imaging of simple diatomic molecules and is based on the combination of a 160 kHz mid-infrared few-cycle laser source with full three-dimensional electron-ion coincidence detection. Our technique provides an accessible and robust route towards imaging ultrafast processes in complex gas-phase molecules with atto- to femto-second temporal resolution.

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