Control and characterization of intramolecular dynamics with chirped femtosecond three-pulse four-wave mixing
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Experimental control and characterization of intramolecular dynamics are demonstrated with chirped femtosecond three-pulse four-wave mixing (FWM). The two-dimensional (spectrally dispersed and time-resolved) three-pulse FWM signal is shown to contain important information about the population and coherence of the electronic and vibrational states of the system. The experiments are carried out on gas-phase I-2 and the degenerate laser pulses are resonant with the X (ground) to B (excited) electronic transition. In the absence of laser chirp, control over population and coherence transfer is demonstrated by selecting specific pulse sequences. When chirped lasers are used to manipulate the optical phases of the pulses, the two-dimensional data demonstrate the transfer of coherence between the ground and excited states. Positive chirps are also shown to enhance the signal intensity, particularly for bluer wavelengths. A theoretical model based on the multilevel density matrix formalism in ...the perturbation limit is developed to simulate the data. The model takes into account two vibrational levels in the ground and the excited states, as well as different pulse sequences and laser chirp values. The analytical solution allows us to predict particular pulse sequences that control the final electronic state of the population. In a similar manner, the theory allows us to find critical chirp values that control the transfer of vibrational coherence between the two electronic states. Wave packet calculations are used to illustrate the process that leads to the observation of ground-state dynamics. All the calculations are found to be in excellent agreement with the experimental data. The ability to control population and coherence transfer in molecular systems is of great importance in the quest for controlling the outcome of laser-initiated chemical reactions.