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Keywords:

  • attosecond pulses;
  • laser chemistry;
  • molecular photoionization;
  • two-center electron interference;
  • X-ray diffraction

Abstract

Molecular photoionization by intense attosecond linearly and circularly polarized X-ray laser pulses is investigated from numerical solutions of time-dependent Schrödinger equations for the one-electron systems H2+ and H3++. Both momentum stripes and rings in photoelectron angular distributions are observed. The first with momentum intervals Δps=2 π/R, where R is the molecular internuclear distance, results from interference of the coherent continuum scattering electron wave packets, which is shown to be insensitive to the laser polarization and wavelength. Diffraction of the directly ionized electrons leads to the momentum rings defined by the angle equation image between the electron momentum pr and the molecular internuclear R axis. These patterns are well described by multi-center interference models. Such complex patterns allow us to probe intermolecular structures.