Bond-breaking and bond-creation in chemical reactions are preceded and ultimately governed by the intra-molecular dynamics of the electrons. While many concepts of the interaction of strong, short laser pulses with molecules can be studied using the smallest molecule, H2, it has been shown that the laser-driven electrons’ dynamics in the more chemically (and biologically) relevant polyatomic molecules can lead to remarkable fragmentation behaviour, e.g. [1,2]. Laser induced molecular fragmentation via Coulomb explosion has been studied by coincidence momentum imaging methods, which allow to selectively investigate specific breakup channels and revealed that the fragmentation is in many cases accompanied by remarkably fast hydrogen and/or proton migration, e.g. [3].

© 2009 IEEE

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