Hyperfine-Structure-Induced Depolarization of Impulsively Aligned I-2 Molecules

Esben Folger Thomas, Anders A. Sondergaard, Benjamin Shepperson, Niels Engholm Henriksen, Henrik Stapelfeldt

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A moderately intense 450 fs laser pulse is used to create rotational wave packets in gas phase I-2 molecules. The ensuing time-dependent alignment, measured by Coulomb explosion imaging with a delayed probe pulse, exhibits the characteristic revival structures expected for rotational wave packets but also a complex nonperiodic substructure and decreasing mean alignment not observed before. A quantum mechanical model attributes the phenomena to coupling between the rotational angular momenta and the nuclear spins through the electric quadrupole interaction. The calculated alignment trace agrees very well with the experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number163202
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number16
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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