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Strong-field induced fragmentation and isomerization of toluene probed by ultrafast femtosecond electron diffraction and mass spectrometry

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Abstract

We investigate the fragmentation and isomerization of toluene molecules induced by strong-field ionization with a femtosecond near-infrared laser pulse. Momentum-resolved coincidence time-of-flight ion mass spectrometry is used to determine the relative yield of different ionic products and fragmentation channels as a function of laser intensity. Ultrafast electron diffraction is used to capture the structure of the ions formed on a picosecond time scale by comparing the diffraction signal with theoretical predictions. Through the combination of the two measurements and theory, we are able to determine the main fragmentation channels and to distinguish between ions with identical mass but different structures. In addition, our diffraction measurements show that the independent atom model, which is widely used to analyze electron diffraction patterns, is not a good approximation for diffraction from ions. We show that the diffraction data is in very good agreement with ab initio scattering calculations.

Graphical abstract: Strong-field induced fragmentation and isomerization of toluene probed by ultrafast femtosecond electron diffraction and mass spectrometry

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Article information


Submitted
02 Nov 2020
Accepted
14 Dec 2020
First published
14 Dec 2020

Faraday Discuss., 2021, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Strong-field induced fragmentation and isomerization of toluene probed by ultrafast femtosecond electron diffraction and mass spectrometry

Y. Xiong, K. Borne, A. M. Carrascosa, S. K. Saha, K. J. Wilkin, M. Yang, S. Bhattacharyya, K. Chen, W. Du, L. Ma, N. Marshall, J. P. F. Nunes, S. Pathak, Z. Phelps, X. Xu, H. Yong, K. Lopata, P. M. Weber, A. Rudenko, D. Rolles and M. Centurion, Faraday Discuss., 2021, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0FD00125B

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