Femtosecond wave packet spectroscopy: Coherences, the potential, and structural determination
Recently, we presented a formalism for extracting highly resolved spectral information and the potential of bound isolated systems from coherent ultrafast laser experiments, using I2 as a model system [Gruebele et al., Chem. Phys. Lett. 166, 459 (1990)]. The key to this approach is the formation of coherent wave packets on the potential energy curve (or surface) of interest, and the measurement of their scalar and vector properties. Here we give a full account of the method by analyzing the coherences of the wave packet in the temporal transients of molecules excited by ultrashort laser pulses, either at room temperature, or in a molecular beam. From this, some general considerations for properly treating temporal data can be derived. We also present a direct inversion to the potential and quantum and classical calculations for comparison with the experiments.