Imaging an aligned polyatomic molecule with laser-induced electron diffraction

Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 24;6:7262. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8262.


Laser-induced electron diffraction is an evolving tabletop method that aims to image ultrafast structural changes in gas-phase polyatomic molecules with sub-Ångström spatial and femtosecond temporal resolutions. Here we demonstrate the retrieval of multiple bond lengths from a polyatomic molecule by simultaneously measuring the C-C and C-H bond lengths in aligned acetylene. Our approach takes the method beyond the hitherto achieved imaging of simple diatomic molecules and is based on the combination of a 160 kHz mid-infrared few-cycle laser source with full three-dimensional electron-ion coincidence detection. Our technique provides an accessible and robust route towards imaging ultrafast processes in complex gas-phase molecules with atto- to femto-second temporal resolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.