Isotope-selective dissociation of diatomic molecules by terahertz optical pulses

Akira Ichihara, Leo Matsuoka, Etsuo Segawa, Keiichi Yokoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a method for isotope-selective dissociation of diatomic molecules in the gas phase by using two kinds of terahertz-pulse fields. The first field consists of a train of pulses, composing a frequency comb, which excites only the selected isotope into a highly rotationally-excited state. The second field dissociates the excited molecules by further rovibrational excitations. We numerically demonstrate the applicability of the proposed scheme by molecular wave-packet computations using the lithium chlorides Li7Cl35 and Li7Cl37. Nearly 20% of the Li7Cl37 in the lowest rovibrational state is dissociated in a single interaction of the designed terahertz fields, while the dissociation probability is negligible in Li7Cl35. This scheme is expected to be applicable to the molecular ensemble whose rotational states spread in energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043404
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 9

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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