Mechanism of angular momentum exchange between molecules and Laguerre-Gaussian beams

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 23;96(24):243001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.243001. Epub 2006 Jun 20.


We derive the interaction Hamiltonian between a diatomic molecule and a Laguerre-Gaussian beam under the assumption of a small spread of the center of mass wave function of the molecule in comparison with the beam waist. Considering the dynamical variables of the center of mass, vibrational, rotational, and electronic motion, we show that, within the electronic dipole approximation, the orbital angular momentum of the field couples with the rotational and electronic motion. The changes in the transition probabilities and selection rules induced by the field orbital angular momentum and the applicability of the derived interaction mechanisms for polyatomic molecules are discussed.