Deflection of field-free aligned molecules

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Apr 16;104(15):153001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.153001. Epub 2010 Apr 12.


We consider deflection of polarizable molecules by inhomogeneous optical fields, and analyze the role of molecular orientation and rotation in the scattering process. We show that by preshaping molecular angular distribution with the help of short and strong femtosecond laser pulses, one may efficiently control the scattering process, manipulate the average deflection angle and its distribution, and reduce substantially the angular dispersion of the deflected molecules. This opens new ways for many applications involving molecular focusing, guiding, and trapping by optical and static fields.