Interference stabilization of autoionizing states in molecular N2 studied by time- and angular-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy
An autoionizing resonance in molecular N2 is excited by an ultrashort XUV pulse and probed by a subsequent weak IR pulse, which ionizes the contributing Rydberg states. Time- and angular-resolved photoelectron spectra recorded with a velocity map imaging spectrometer reveal two electronic contributions with different angular distributions. One of them has an exponential decay rate of 20 ± 5 fs, while the other one is shorter than 10 fs. This observation is interpreted as a manifestation of interference stabilization involving the two overlapping discrete Rydberg states. A formalism of interference stabilization for molecular ionization is developed and applied to describe the autoionizing resonance. The results of calculations suggest, that the effect of the interference stabilization is facilitated by rotationally-induced couplings of electronic states with different symmetry.