Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8172
Published 04 September 2015


Archived here is the arXiv version, posted Sat, 18 Apr 2015 22:23:18 GMT; online at (Macmillan does not permit posting of the Nature Communications file)


Imaging the structure of molecules in transient-excited states remains a challenge due to the extreme requirements for spatial and temporal resolution. Ultrafast electron diffraction from aligned molecules provides atomic resolution and allows for the retrieval of structural information without the need to rely on theoretical models. Here we use ultrafast electron diffraction from aligned molecules and femtosecond laser mass spectrometry to investigate the dynamics in carbon disulfide following the interaction with an intense femtosecond laser pulse. We observe that the degree of alignment reaches an upper limit at laser intensities below the ionization threshold, and find evidence of structural deformation, dissociation and ionization at higher laser intensities.