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High Energy Proton Ejection from Hydrocarbon Molecules Driven by Highly Efficient Field Ionization

  • S. Roither
  • X. Xie
  • D. Kartashov
  • L. Zhang
  • M. Schöffler
  • H. Xu
  • A. Iwasaki
  • T. Okino
  • K. Yamanouchi
  • A. Baltuška
  • M. Kitzler
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 125)

Abstract

We report on the ejection of protons with surprisingly high kinetic energies up to 60 eV from a series of polyatomic hydrocarbon molecules exposed to Titanium-Sapphire laser pulses with moderate laser peak intensities of a few 1014 W/cm2. Using multi-particle coincidence imaging we are able to decompose the observed proton energy spectra into the contributions of individual fragmentation channels. It is shown that the molecules can completely fragment into bare atomic ions already at relatively low peak intensities, and that the protons are ejected in a concerted Coulomb explosion from unexpectedly high charge states. We propose that a thus far undescribed process, namely that enhanced ionization (EI) taking place at all C–H bonds in parallel, is responsible for the high charge states and high proton energies. The proposition is successfully tested by using (stretched) few-cycle pulses with a bandwidth limited duration as short as 4.3 fs, for which the C–H nuclear motion is too slow to reach the critical internuclear distance for EI.

Keywords

Charge State Proton Energy High Charge State Nuclear Motion Coulomb Explosion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge funding by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under grants P21463-N22 and I274-N16, and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (#09035011-000061).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Roither
    • 1
  • X. Xie
    • 1
  • D. Kartashov
    • 1
  • L. Zhang
    • 1
  • M. Schöffler
    • 1
  • H. Xu
    • 2
  • A. Iwasaki
    • 2
  • T. Okino
    • 2
  • K. Yamanouchi
    • 2
  • A. Baltuška
    • 1
  • M. Kitzler
    • 1
  1. 1.Photonics InstituteVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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