Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

January 2002


Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. Lett.VOLUME 88, NUMBER 2, 14 JANUARY 2002. Copyright © 2002 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


We investigate the influence of continuum generation on the photofragmentation dynamics of the toluene molecule. By sending an 80-fs Ti:sapphire laser beam through a 2-mm-thick CaF2 plate we show that even moderately broadened laser frequency spectra considerably increase the degree of fragmentation, while it is nearly absent without continuum generation. The measured broadening of the frequency spectra and the known Raman-active vibrational modes of toluene afford an explanation in terms of a stimulated Raman scattering scheme, in which the molecule absorbs large amounts of vibrational energy.

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