DOE-Imaging grant FG02-06ER15829, entitled "Developing Laser-Induced Re-Collision Electron Self-Diffraction" Brief summary of accomplishments

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Our principal goal was the experimental demonstration of Laser-Induced Electron Diffraction (LIED). Key steps along the development of this experimental technique have been accomplished and reported in the publications listed in this brief report. We started with measuring 3D electron momenta spectra in aligned nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Chakra Maharjan (Ph.D. student of Lew Cocke) was a lead researcher on this project. Although Chakra succeeded in obtaining those spectra, we were scooped by the publication of identical results in Science by the NRC Ottawa group. Our results were never published as a refereed article, but became a part of Chakra's ... continued below

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Igor V. Litvinyuk, and Itzik Ben-Itzhak April 1, 2012.

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Our principal goal was the experimental demonstration of Laser-Induced Electron Diffraction (LIED). Key steps along the development of this experimental technique have been accomplished and reported in the publications listed in this brief report. We started with measuring 3D electron momenta spectra in aligned nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Chakra Maharjan (Ph.D. student of Lew Cocke) was a lead researcher on this project. Although Chakra succeeded in obtaining those spectra, we were scooped by the publication of identical results in Science by the NRC Ottawa group. Our results were never published as a refereed article, but became a part of Chakra's Ph.D. dissertation. That Science paper was the first experimental demonstration of Laser-Induced Electron Diffraction (LIED). Chakra also worked on wavelength dependence of 3D ATI spectra of atoms and molecules using tunable OPA pulses. Another Ph.D. student, Maia Magrakvelidze (her GRA was funded by the grant), started working on COLTRIMS experiments using OPA pulses (1800 nm wavelength). After some initial experiments it became apparent that COLTRIMS did not yield sufficient count rates of electrons in the high-energy part of the spectrum to see diffraction signatures with acceptable statistics (unfavorable scaling of the electron yield with laser wavelength was partly to blame). Nevertheless, Maia managed to use COLTRIMS and OPA to measure the angular dependence of the tunneling ionization rate in D{sub 2} molecules. Following the initial trial experiments, the decision was made to switch from COLTRIMS to VMI in order to increase the count rates by a factor of {approx}100, which may have given us a chance to see LIED. Research Associate Dr. Sankar De (his salary was funded by the grant), in collaboration with Matthias Kling's group (then at MPQ Garching), proceeded to design a special multi-electrode VMI spectrometer for capturing high-energy ATI electrons and to install it in place of COLTRIMS inside our experimental chamber. That apparatus was later used for the first demonstration of field-free orientation in CO using two-color laser pulses as well as for a series of other experiments, such as pump-probe studies of molecular dynamics with few-cycle laser pulses, control of electron localization in dissociating hydrogen molecules using two-color laser pulses, and ATI spectra of Xe ionized by two-color laser pulses. In parallel, Dipanwita Ray (Ph.D. student of Lew Cocke) worked on measuring angle-resolved ATI spectra of noble gases using a stereo-ATI phasemeter as a TOF electron spectrometer. She observed the angular diffraction structures in 3D ATI spectra of Ar, Kr and Xe, which were interpreted in terms of the Quantitative Rescattering theory newly developed by C.D. Lin. We also attempted to use a much more powerful OPA (five times more energy per pulse than the one we had at JRML) available at the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) in Montreal to observe LIED. Two visits to ALLS by the PI, Igor Litvinyuk, and one visit by the PI's Ph.D. student (Irina Bocharova) were funded by the grant. Though we failed to observe LIED (the repetition rate of the ALLS OPA was too low at only 100 Hz), this international collaboration resulted in several publications on other related subjects, such as the wavelength dependence of laser Coulomb explosion of hydrogen, the wavelength dependence of non-sequential double ionization of neon and argon, the demonstration of charge-resonance enhanced ionization in CO{sub 2}, and the study of non-elastic scattering processes in H{sub 2}. Theoretical efforts to account for the hydrogen Coulomb explosion experiment resulted in another paper by Maia Magrakvelidze as lead author. Although for various reasons we failed to achieve our main goal of observing LIED, we salute the recent success in this endeavor by Lou DiMauro's group (with theoretical support from our KSU colleague C.D. Lin) published in Nature, which validates our approach.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/15829-1
  • Grant Number: FG02-06ER15829
  • DOI: 10.2172/1037731 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1037731
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831715

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  • April 1, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 4:09 p.m.

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Igor V. Litvinyuk, and Itzik Ben-Itzhak. DOE-Imaging grant FG02-06ER15829, entitled "Developing Laser-Induced Re-Collision Electron Self-Diffraction" Brief summary of accomplishments, report, April 1, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831715/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.