Ultrafast nuclear dynamics and non-uniform Coulomb explosion of heteroclusters

J. Jortner, I. Last

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on some unique features of the ion spatial distribution, energetics and time-resolved dynamics in Coulomb explosion of multicharged light-heavy heteroclusters, consisting of light, low-charge and heavy, high-charge, ions, e.g. hydroiodic acid (H+IqI+) n and its isotopic substituents (D+Iq1+) n and (T+IqI+)n. In these clusters, extreme multielectron ionization in ultraintense laser fields (peak intensity I = 1015 - 1020W cm-2) results in highly charged heavy ions, e.g. qI ≃ 7 at I=6 × 1015W cm-2 and qI=25 at I = 1019W cm-2. Molecular dynamics simulations based on the cluster vertical ionization (CVI) initial conditions, together with complete simulations involving both electron and nuclear dynamics of heteroclusters subjected to a Gaussian laser pulse, which were conducted for Coulomb explosion of (D+IqI+)2171 and (H +IqI+)2171 ionic clusters, reveal expanding, thin, two-dimensional spherical shells of the light D+ or H + ions, with the monolayer expansion occurring on the femtosecond time scale. The expanding spherical nanoshells of light ions are analogous to a 'soap bubble', characterized by negative surface tension and driven by Coulomb pressure. The energetic data for the light ions reveal high energies with a narrow energy distribution, characterized by a lower energy cut-off, e.g. average energy Eav = 23 keV at width ΔΕ/Ε av = 0.16, and a cut-off energy of ΕMIN = 19.2 keV for Coulomb explosion of (D+IqI+)2171 clusters. These dynamic, structural and energetic data for exploding multicharged light-heavy heteroclusters arise from kinematic overrun effects of the light ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1735-1743
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrafast nuclear dynamics and non-uniform Coulomb explosion of heteroclusters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this