Three-Dimensional Molecular Alignment Inside Helium Nanodroplets

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We demonstrate 3D spatial alignment of 3,5-dichloroiodobenzene molecules embedded in helium nanodroplets using nonresonant elliptically polarized 160 ps laser pulses at a 1 kHz repetition rate. Through Coulomb explosion imaging and ion-ion covariance mapping, the 3D alignment is characterized and found to be stronger than that of isolated molecules. The 3D alignment follows the intensity profile of the alignment laser pulse almost adiabatically, except for a delayed response in the helium droplets, which could be exploited for field-free 3D alignment. Our results pave the way for next-generation molecular dynamics and diffraction experiments, performed within a cold helium solvent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073202
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2017

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