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Control of Molecular Reactions with Laser Fields

Comprehensive Exam

11:30 am–1:30 pm
Jorgensen Hall Room: 207
Physics Department, (402) 472-2770,
Sri Bhavya Muvva will present her comprehensive exam topic, “Control of Molecular Reactions with Laser Fields” in-person.

ABSTRACT: The molecular dynamics involved in chemical reactions can be studied by using ultrafast lasers, which provide a detailed understanding of these reactions in the femtosecond time scales. Lasers can also control the chemical reactions. An insight into how laser light can be successfully applied to steer and control the course of chemical reactions is provided by discussing a few methods. The focus will be mainly on two control methods: pump-dump and dynamic Stark control, which uses femtosecond laser pulses to control the yield of products in a photochemical reaction. I will discuss the physics involved in these methods, provide examples of experiments demonstrating their working principle, and compare these methods. Finally, I will propose an experiment that uses a laser control method in combination with Ultrafast Electron Diffraction (UED) to learn about the reaction dynamics of a photoexcited molecule.

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