Femtosecond coherent control of thermal photoassociation of magnesium atoms
We investigate femtosecond photoassociation of thermally hot atoms in the gas phase and its coherent control. In the photoassociation process, formation of a chemical bond is facilitated by light in a free-to-bound optical transition. Here, we study free-to-bound photoassociation of a diatomic molecule induced by femtosecond pulses exciting a pair of scattering atoms interacting via the van-der-Waals-type electronic ground state potential into bound levels of an electronically excited state. The thermal gas of reactants is at temperatures in the range of hundreds of degrees. Despite this incoherent initial state, rotational and vibrational coherences are observed in the probing of the created Mg2 molecules.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Coherence and Control in Chemistry