Recently, using midinfrared laser-induced electron diffraction (LIED), snapshots of a vibrating diatomic molecule on a femtosecond time scale have been captured [C.I. Blaga et al., Nature (London) 483, 194 (2012)]. In this Letter, a comprehensive treatment for the atomic LIED response is reported, a critical step in generalizing this imaging method. Electron-ion differential cross sections (DCSs) of rare gas atoms are extracted from measured angular-resolved, high-energy electron momentum distributions generated by intense midinfrared lasers. Following strong-field ionization, the high-energy electrons result from elastic rescattering of a field-driven wave packet with the parent ion. For recollision energies [greater or equal] 100eV, the measured DCSs are indistinguishable for the neutral atoms and ions, illustrating the close collision nature of this interaction. The extracted DCSs are found to be independent of laser parameters, in agreement with theory. This study establishes the key ingredients for applying LIED to femtosecond molecular imaging.



Keywords and Phrases

Critical Steps; Diatomic Molecules; Differential Cross Section; Electron Ions; Femtosecond Time Scale; Femtoseconds; High-Energy Electron; Imaging Method; Laser Induced; Laser Parameters; Midinfrared; Midinfrared Lasers; Neutral Atoms; Rare Gas Atoms; Recollision; Rescattering; Strong Field Ionization, Atoms; Elastic Scattering; Electron Diffraction; Ions; Molecular Imaging, Lasers

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2012 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2012

PubMed ID


Included in

Physics Commons