The focus of this project is to manipulated molecules attached to helium nanodroplets with strong laser fields. In particular, the project is connected to the use of an optical centrifuge which is operational at UBC in Vancouver. Centrifuging with laser fields enables controlled spinning of molecules up to extreme high rotations. Ion and electron velocities, as well as their angular distributions will be measured upon irradiation of doped helium nanodroplets with strong femtosecond laser fields. Desorption and fragmentation dynamics of molecules residing inside the droplets as well as dopants attached to the surface will be investigated in a pump-probe fashion. In particular, atoms and small molecules will be selected, attached to droplets in a variable size range. Applying the optical centrifuge for controlling rotational states of molecules and the needed corresponding high-intensity polarization-controlled laser fields, collective ionization processes and nanoplasma formation of the systems will be investigated to characterize viable conditions for centrifuging molecules in the superfluid environment. (F. Stienkemeier)

Research group of Prof. Stienkemeier