skip to main content

Title: Influence of orbital symmetry on diffraction imaging with rescattering electron wave packets

The ability to directly follow and time-resolve the rearrangement of the nuclei within molecules is a frontier of science that requires atomic spatial and few-femtosecond temporal resolutions. While laser-induced electron diffraction can meet these requirements, it was recently concluded that molecules with particular orbital symmetries (such as pg) cannot be imaged using purely backscattering electron wave packets without molecular alignment. Here, we demonstrate, in direct contradiction to these findings, that the orientation and shape of molecular orbitals presents no impediment for retrieving molecular structure with adequate sampling of the momentum transfer space. We overcome previous issues by showcasing retrieval of the structure of randomly oriented O 2 and C 2H 2 molecules, with π g and π u symmetries, respectively, and where their ionization probabilities do not maximize along their molecular axes. As a result, while this removes a serious bottleneck for laser-induced diffraction imaging, we find unexpectedly strong backscattering contributions from low-Z atoms.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [5]
  1. The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Castelldefels (Barcelona) (Spain)
  2. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)
  3. Max-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germany)
  4. Max-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germany); Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig (Germany)
  5. The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Castelldefels (Barcelona) (Spain); ICREA-Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats, Barcelona (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States