Dynamic Stark Control of Photochemical Processes (Science) - Benjamin J. Sussman


Dynamic Stark Control of Photochemical Processes

Benjamin J. Sussman,1,2 Dave Townsend,1 Misha Yu. Ivanov,1 Albert Stolow1,2*

A method is presented for controlling the outcome of photochemical reactions by using the dynamic Stark effect due to a strong, nonresonant infrared field. The application of a precisely timed infrared laser pulse reversibly modifies potential energy barriers during a chemical reaction without inducing any real electronic transitions. Dynamic Stark control (DSC) is experimentally demonstrated for a nonadiabatic photochemical reaction, showing substantial modification of reaction channel probabilities in the dissociation of IBr. The DSC process is nonperturbative and insensitive to laser frequency and affects all polarizable molecules, suggesting broad applicability.

1 Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, 100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6, Canada.
2 Department of Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: albert.stolow@nrc.ca