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Probing in Space and Time the Nuclear Motion Driven by Nonequilibrium Electronic Dynamics in Ultrafast Pumped N2

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journal contribution
posted on 03.03.2016, 13:18 by J. Ajay, J. Šmydke, F. Remacle, R. D. Levine
An ultrafast electronic excitation of N2 in the vacuum ultraviolet creates a nonstationary coherent linear superposition of interacting valence and Rydberg states resulting in a net oscillating dipole moment. There is therefore a linear response to an electrical field that can be queried by varying the time delay between the pump and a second optical probe pulse. Both the pump and probe pulses are included in our computation as part of the Hamiltonian, and the time-dependent wave function for both electronic and nuclear dynamics is computed using a grid representation for the internuclear coordinate. Even on an ultrafast time scale there are several processes that can be discerned beyond the expected coherence oscillations. In particular, the coupling between the excited valence and Rydberg states of the same symmetry is very evident and can be directly probed by varying the delay between pulse and probe. For quite a number of vibrations the nuclear motion does not dephase the electronic disequilibrium. However, the nuclear motion does modulate the dipolar response by taking the wave packet in and out of the Franck–Condon region and by its strong influence on the coupling of the Rydberg and valence states. A distinct isotope effect arises from the dependence of the interstate coupling on the nuclear mass.

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