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Department of Physics

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Studying Ultrafast Molecular Dynamics in Pump-Probe Experiments with Femtosecond Lasers

Joey Harrington

Fort Hays State University
Physics Major
Mentored by Dr. Daniel Rolles and Artem Rudenko

This summer, I was given the opportunity to work in Dr. Rolles and Dr. Rudenko's AMO groups. I started off the summer getting to do some alignment with the laser. I was allowed to tune several of the mirrors to try and reach optimal spatial overlap of our 266 nm UV pulse and our 800 nm IR probe.

General construction of our optical setup for our laser.

Figure 1: General construction of our optical setup for our laser.

After I finished that, I began doing some data analysis of the molecules we were looking at. The main molecule that my work was focused on was cyclohexadiene. I was able to generate some spectra that showed the yield of each fragment versus the time of flight.

Spectra containing the yield as a function of the time of flight.

Figure 2: Spectra containing the yield as a function of the time of flight.

I was also fortunate to have Kurtis's help getting graphs that show the spectra of position versus the time of flight of the observed fragments.

X-position as a function of the time of flight.

Figure 3: X-position as a function of the time of flight.

Y-position as a function of the time of flight.

Figure 4: Y-position as a function of the time of flight.

Towards the end of the program I was starting to look into the yield of each individual fragment versus the delay between our UV and IR pulses.

Yield of each fragment as a function of delay.

Figure 5: Yield of each fragment as a function of delay.

Finally, I ended the program with the choice of either doing more optical alignment or more data analysis. I opted for the optical alignment. I was unable to get any FROG traces from our current setup. 

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Daniel, Artem, Kurtis, and Farzaneh for allowing me to observe, understand, and learn the research process. Kurtis was very helpful throughout the whole process. I am glad he was so patient with me. Also, I want to thank the NSF for funding this research opportunity. Finally, the other REU students for making the time here memorable.

Poster
Final Presentation

National Science Foundation

This program is funded by the National Science Foundation through grant number PHY-1757778. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.