Photoionization Dynamics for Non-symmetric Molecules in a High Intensity Laser Field
White, Samantha Lee
This study addresses the question of the effect of a molecule’s symmetry on its ionization. Using laser field intensities ranging from 2x10^15 to 2x10^18 W/cm2, different orders of charged carbon fragments, C+n, were collected for a non-symmetric molecule and for a symmetric molecule. Each fragment was collected at a fixed energy, with the only variable being the symmetry of the sample molecule. Methane (CH4) was the symmetric, non-polar molecule tested and chloromethane (CH3Cl) was used as the non-symmetric, polar molecule. C+2, C+3, and C+5 ions were collected. The ions yielded for each C+n fragment for each molecule were compared to determine whether non-symmetric molecules ionize more easily or with greater difficulty than symmetric molecules.