Probing ultrafast dynamics of chiral molecules using time-resolved photoelectron circular dichroism
Measuring the ultrafast dynamics of chiral molecules in the gas phase has been a long standing and challenging quest of molecular physics. The main limitation to reach that goal has been the lack of highly sensitive chiroptical measurement. By enabling chiral discrimination with up to several 10% of sensitivity, photoelectron circular dichroism (PECD) offers a solution to this issue. However, tracking ultrafast processes requires measuring PECD with ultrashort light pulses. Here we compare the PECD obtained with different light sources, from the extreme ultraviolet to the mid-infrared range, leading to different ionization regimes: single-photon, resonance-enhanced multiphoton, above-threshold and tunnel ionization. We use single and multiphoton ionization to probe the ultrafast relaxation of fenchone molecules photoexcited in their first Rydberg states. We show that time-resolved PECD enables revealing dynamics much faster than the population decay of the Rydberg states, demonstrating the high sensitivity of this technique to vibronic relaxation.