Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics

Etienne Gagnon, Predrag Ranitovic, Xiao Min Tong, C. L. Cocke, Margaret M. Murnane, Henry C. Kapteyn, Arvinder Singh Sandhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The direct observation of molecular dynamics initiated by x-rays has been hindered to date by the lack of bright femtosecond sources of short-wavelength light. We used soft x-ray beams generated by high-harmonic upconversion of a femtosecond laser to photoionize a nitrogen molecule, creating highly excited molecular cations. A strong infrared pulse was then used to probe the ultrafast electronic and nuclear dynamics as the molecule exploded. We found that substantial fragmentation occurs through an electron-shakeup process, in which a second electron is simultaneously excited during the soft x-ray photoionization process. During fragmentation, the molecular potential seen by the electron changes rapidly from nearly spherically symmetric to a two-center molecular potential. Our approach can capture in real time and with angstrom resolution the influence of ionizing radiation on a range of molecular systems, probing dynamics that are inaccessible with the use of other techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1378
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume317
Issue number5843
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Molecular Dynamics Simulation
X-Rays
Electrons
Ionizing Radiation
Cations
Lasers
Nitrogen
Observation
Light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Gagnon, E., Ranitovic, P., Tong, X. M., Cocke, C. L., Murnane, M. M., Kapteyn, H. C., & Sandhu, A. S. (2007). Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics. Science, 317(5843), 1374-1378. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1144920

Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics. / Gagnon, Etienne; Ranitovic, Predrag; Tong, Xiao Min; Cocke, C. L.; Murnane, Margaret M.; Kapteyn, Henry C.; Sandhu, Arvinder Singh.

In: Science, Vol. 317, No. 5843, 07.09.2007, p. 1374-1378.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gagnon, E, Ranitovic, P, Tong, XM, Cocke, CL, Murnane, MM, Kapteyn, HC & Sandhu, AS 2007, 'Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics', Science, vol. 317, no. 5843, pp. 1374-1378. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1144920
Gagnon E, Ranitovic P, Tong XM, Cocke CL, Murnane MM, Kapteyn HC et al. Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics. Science. 2007 Sep 7;317(5843):1374-1378. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1144920
Gagnon, Etienne ; Ranitovic, Predrag ; Tong, Xiao Min ; Cocke, C. L. ; Murnane, Margaret M. ; Kapteyn, Henry C. ; Sandhu, Arvinder Singh. / Soft X-ray-driven femtosecond molecular dynamics. In: Science. 2007 ; Vol. 317, No. 5843. pp. 1374-1378.
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