Photofragment helicity caused by matter-wave interference from multiple dissociative states

T P Rakitzis, S A Kandel, A J Alexander, Z H Kim, R N Zare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Isolated diatomic molecules of iodine monochloride (ICL) were photodissociated by a beam of Linearly polarized light, and the resulting ground-state CL atom photofragments were detected by a method that is sensitive to the handedness (helicity) of the electronic angular momentum. It was found that this helicity oscillates between "topspin" and "backspin" as a function of the wavelength of the dissociating light. The helicity originates solely from the (de Broglie) matter-wave interference of multiple dissociating pathways of the electronic excited states of ICI. These measurements can be related to the identity and to the detailed shapes of the dissociating pathways, thus demonstrating that it is possible to probe repulsive states by spectroscopic means.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1349
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume281
Issue number5381
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 1998

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