Excited-state wavepacket and potential reconstruction by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering
Among the major challenges in the chemical sciences is controlling chemical reactions and deciphering their mechanisms. Since much of chemistry occurs in excited electronic states, in the last three decades scientists have employed a wide variety of experimental techniques and theoretical methods to recover excited-state potential energy surfaces and the wavepackets that evolve on them. These methods have been partially successful but generally do not provide a complete reconstruction of either the excited state wavepacket or potential. We have recently proposed a methodology for reconstructing excited-state molecular wavepackets and the corresponding potential energy surface [Avisar and Tannor, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2011, 106, 170405]. In our approach, the wavepacket is represented as a superposition of the set of vibrational eigenfunctions of the molecular ground-state Hamiltonian. We assume that the multidimensional ground-state potential surface is known, and therefore these vibrational eigenfunctions are known as well. The time-dependent coefficients of the basis functions are obtained by experimental measurement of the resonant coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) signal. Our reconstruction strategy has several significant advantages: (1) the methodology requires no a priori knowledge of any excited-state potential. (2) It applies to dissociative as well as to bound excited-state potentials. (3) It is general for polyatomics. (4) The excited-state potential surface is reconstructed simultaneously with the wavepacket. Apart from making a general contribution to the field of excited-state spectroscopy, our method provides the information on the excited-state wavepacket and potential necessary to design laser pulse sequences to control photochemical reactions.