Exploring control landscapes for laser-driven molecular fragmentation

Katharine Moore Tibbetts, Xi Xing, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The growing success of quantum optimal control experiments has been attributed to the favorable topology of the control landscape, which specifies the functional relationship between the physical objective and the control variables describing the applied field. This work explores experimental control landscapes expressing the yields of dissociative ionization products from halogenated hydrocarbons in terms of three control variables specifying a polynomial expansion of the spectral phase of the ultrafast laser pulse. Many of the landscapes in this work exhibit features predicted by control landscape theory, including a lack of suboptimal extrema, i.e., "traps" and the presence of connected optimal level sets, i.e., continuously varying values of the control variables that produce an optimal objective yield. Placing significant constraints on the control resources, particularly by limiting the laser pulse energy, was found to distort the underlying landscape topology. The control landscapes from a diverse, yet related family of halogenated hydrocarbons are shown to possess similar features, reflecting the chemical similarity of the compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144201
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 14 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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