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Extracting conformational structure information of benzene molecules via laser-induced electron diffraction

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      We have measured the angular distributions of high energy photoelectrons of benzene molecules generated by intense infrared femtosecond laser pulses. These electrons arise from the elastic collisions between the benzene ions with the previously tunnel-ionized electrons that have been driven back by the laser field. Theory shows that laser-free elastic differential cross sections (DCSs) can be extracted from these photoelectrons, and the DCS can be used to retrieve the bond lengths of gas-phase molecules similar to the conventional electron diffraction method. From our experimental results, we have obtained the C-C and C-H bond lengths of benzene with a spatial resolution of about 10 pm. Our results demonstrate that laser induced electron diffraction (LIED) experiments can be carried out with the present-day ultrafast intense lasers already. Looking ahead, with aligned or oriented molecules, more complete spatial information of the molecule can be obtained from LIED, and applying LIED to probe photo-excited molecules, a “molecular movie” of the dynamic system may be created with sub-Ångström spatial and few-ten femtosecond temporal resolutions.

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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University , Sendai 980-8577, Japan
            [2 ]Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics, Jilin University , Changchun 130012, People's Republic of China
            [3 ]J. R. Macdonald Laboratory, Department of Physics, Kansas State University , Manhattan, Kansas 66506-2604, USA
            Author notes

            Y.I., C.C.W., and A.T.L. contributed equally to this work.


            Electronic mail: ueda@

            Struct Dyn
            Struct Dyn
            Structural Dynamics
            American Crystallographic Association
            24 May 2016
            May 2016
            24 May 2016
            : 3
            : 3
            1.4952602 006603SDY SD-RE16-00020R
            © 2016 Author(s).


            All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

            Pages: 9
            Experimental Methodologies
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