The applicability of adaptive femtosecond pulse shaping is studied for achieving selectivity in the photoionization of low-density polyatomic targets. In particular, optimal dynamic discrimination (ODD) techniques exploit intermediate molecular electronic resonances that allow a significant increase in the photoionization efficiency of nitromethane with shaped near-infrared femtosecond pulses. The intensity bias typical of high-photon number, nonresonant ionization is accounted for by reference to a strictly intensity-dependent process. Closed-loop adaptive learning is then able to discover a pulse form that increases the ionization efficiency of nitromethane by ∼150%. The optimally induced molecular dynamics result from entry into a region of parameter space inaccessible with intensity-only control. Finally, the discovered pulse shape is demonstrated to interact with the molecular system in a coherent fashion as assessed from the asymmetry between the response to the optimal field and its time-reversed counterpart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry