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A molecular conveyor belt by controlled delivery of single molecules into ultrashort laser pulses

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons60325

Kahra,  Steffen
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons60334

Leschhorn,  Günther
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;

Schiffrin,  Augustin
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;

Botschafter,  Elisabeth
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Fakultät für Physik, TU München;

Fuß,  Werner
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons21497

Ernstorfer,  Ralph
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Fakultät für Physik, TU München;

Krausz,  Ferenc
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München;

Kienberger,  Reinhard
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Fakultät für Physik, TU München;

Schaetz,  Tobias
Quantum Dynamics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg;

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Citation

Kahra, S., Leschhorn, G., Kowalewski, M., Schiffrin, A., Botschafter, E., Fuß, W., et al. (2012). A molecular conveyor belt by controlled delivery of single molecules into ultrashort laser pulses. Nature Physics, 8(3), 238-242. doi:10.1038/nphys2214.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-7808-8
Abstract
Trapping and laser cooling in atomic physics enables control of single particles and their dynamics at the quantum level in a background-free environment. Ultrashort intense laser pulses reveal the ultimate control of electromagnetic fields, enabling the imaging of matter, in principle down to a single molecule or virus resolved on atomic scales. However, current methods fall short in overlapping each target with a pulse of comparable size. We combine the two fields by demonstrating a deterministic molecular conveyor, formed of electric trapping potentials. We deliver individual diatomic ions at millikelvin temperatures and with submicrometre positioning into few-femtosecond ultraviolet laser pulses. We initiate and probe the molecule’s femtosecond dynamics and detect it and its response with 100% efficiency. This experiment might become key for investigations of individual molecules, such as structural determinations using few-femtosecond X-ray lasers. Our scheme may overlap each single molecule with a pulse, focused to (sub)micrometre size, providing the required number of photons at the repetition rate of the laser.