Title

Ultrafast predissociation of superexcited nitrogen molecules

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Abstract

Superexcited states of neutral nitrogen molecules, with excited [image omitted] ion cores, are prepared above the N2 ionization limit with femtosecond pulses of 23.1 eV photons, produced by high-order harmonic generation. Time-resolved predissociation of the superexcited nitrogen molecules is observed by detection of electronically excited atomic N*(4p) and/or N*(3d) product formation, by photoionization of the excited atoms with a delayed 805 nm pulse. An upper limit lifetime of 25 fs is determined for the superexcited states, attributed to the sum of autoionization and predissociation pathways, based on the risetime of predissociation products. The observation of dissociation products from the short-lived states shows that the predissociation decay pathways compete with autoionization pathways on an ultrafast timescale.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Molecular Physics

First Page

275

Last Page

280

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