Weak-field coherent control of photodissociation in polyatomic molecules†
A coherent control scheme is suggested to modify the output of photodissociation in a polyatomic system. The performance of the scheme is illustrated by applying it to the ultrafast photodissociation of CH3I in the A-band. The control scheme uses a pump laser weak field that combines two pulses of a few femtoseconds delayed in time. By varying the time delay between the pulses, the shape of the laser field spectral profile is modulated, which causes a change in the initial relative populations excited by the pump laser to the different electronic states involved in the photodissociation. Such a change in the relative populations produces different photodissociation outputs, which is the basis of the control achieved. The degree of control obtained over different photodissociation observables, like the branching ratio between the two dissociation channels of CH3I yielding I(2P3/2) and I*(2P1/2) and the fragment angular distributions associated with each channel, is investigated. These magnitudes are found to oscillate strongly with the time delay, with the branching ratio changing by factors between two and three. Substantial variations of the angular distributions also indicate that the scheme provides a high degree of control. Experimental application of the scheme to general polyatomic photodissociation processes should be straightforward.