Ultrafast dynamics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons initiated by highly intense laser fields

18 October 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


We present an investigation of the ultrafast dynamics of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon fluorene initiated by an intense femtosecond infrared laser pulse and probed by a weak visible pulse. Using a multichannel detection scheme (mass spectra, electron and ion velocity-map imaging), we provide a full disentanglement of the complex dynamics of the vibronically excited parent molecule, its excited ionic states, and fragments. We observed channels resulting from both multiphoton- and tunnel-ionization regimes. In particular, we observed the formation of the unstable tetracation of fluorene, above-threshold ionization features in the photoelectron spectra, and evidence of ubiquitous secondary fragmentation. We produced a global fit of all observed time-dependent photoelectron and photoion channels. This global fit includes four parent ions extracted from the mass spectra, 15 kinetic-energy-resolved ionic fragments extracted from ion velocity map imaging, and five photoelectron channels obtained from electron velocity map imaging. The fit allowed the extraction of 60 transient lifetimes corresponding to different photoinduced intermediates.


ultrafast dynamics
strong-field ionization
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
molecular dynamics
covariance analysis
global fitting

Supplementary materials

Electronic Supporting Information
This PDF contains fitting results, additional images and data, and detailed descriptions of various analysis and simulation details.
ZIP archive with fitting files, and raw data for the figures.


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