Ionization of linear alcohols by strong optical fields

D. Mathur, T. Hatamoto, Misaki Okunishi, G. Prümper, T. Lischke, K. Shimada, Kiyoshi Ueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We have experimentally probed the strong-field ionization dynamics of gas-phase linear alcohols, methanol, ethanol, and 1-propanol, by irradiating them with intense, femtosecond-duration laser pulses of 800 and 400 nm wavelength. Specifically, we make high resolution measurements of the energies of electrons that are ionized by the action of the optical field. Our electron spectroscopy measurements enable us to bifurcate the dynamics into multiphoton ionization and tunneling ionization regimes. In the case of 800 nm irradiation, such bifurcation into different ionization regimes is reasonably rationalized within the framework of the adiabaticity parameter based on the original Keldysh-Faisal-Reiss model of atomic ionization, without recourse to any structure-dependent modifications to the theory. In that sense, our 800 nm spectroscopy indicates that the linear alcohols exhibit atom-like properties as far as strong field ionization dynamics in the multiphoton ionization and tunneling regimes are concerned. We also explore the limitations of this atom-like picture by making measurements with 400 nm photons wherein the ponderomotive potential experienced by the ionized electrons is much less than the photon energy; effects that are purely molecular then appear to influence the strong field dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9299-9306
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept 27

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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