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CRC 450 - Analysis and control of ultrafast photoinduced reactions (1998-2010)

The research goal was to learn to control electron and nuclear constellation in different material systems using ultrashort laser pulses. The motion sequences triggered in this way were to be characterized in time and, if possible, guided by appropriate design of the irradiated light fields in such a way that a stable, detectable final state was achieved.

In the first funding period, the focus was on the analysis of such photo-induced dynamic processes, both experimentally and theoretically. The optical excitation of the system was mostly performed with a pump pulse as short as possible, while the resulting change of the nuclear coordinates of the system was interrogated with a sample pulse that was also as short as possible and delayed in time.

In the second funding period, the goal of control was also increasingly realized by using more complex excitation fields. In the experiment, the researchers used suitable modulators for this purpose; complementary to this, the theory of optimal control was expanded. And so, in the area of small, still manageable systems with few active degrees of freedom, there was a very gratifying convergence of theory and experiment, paving an essential part of the way toward more complex systems. Even in the more complex systems, the experimental results, in close cooperation with theory, offered very detailed insights into the dynamics of ultrafast photoinduced reactions.


Prof. Dr. Ludger Wöste

Participating institutions

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Fritz Haber Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (FHI)
  • Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy
  • Humboldt University  Berlin
  • Tel-Aviv University
  • University Potsdam

SFB 450