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Isotope-selective dissociation of diatomic molecules by terahertz optical pulses

Ichihara, Akira; Matsuoka, Leo*; Segawa, Etsuo*; Yokoyama, Keiichi

We propose a new method for isotope-selective dissociation of diatomic molecules in the gas phase by using two kinds of terahertz-pulse fields. The first field consists of a train of pulses, which composes a frequency comb, excites the selected isotope into highly-rotationally excited state. The second intense pulse field dissociates the excited molecule by further rotational excitations. We performed wave-packet computations using the lithium chlorides $$^{7}$$Li$$^{35}$$CL and $$^{7}$$Li$$^{37}$$Cl to demonstrate the applicability of our method. Nearly 20% of $$^{7}$$Li$$^{37}$$Cl in the lowest rovibrational state is dissociated in the designed pulse fields, while the dissociation probability is negligible in $$^{7}$$Li$$^{35}$$Cl. This method is expected to be applicable to other diatomic molecules, and to molecular ensembles whose rotational states spread in energy.

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Category:Optics

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