Closed-loop control of intense-laser fragmentation of S8

Phys. Rev. A 72, 063406 – Published 6 December 2005
E. Wells, K. J. Betsch, C. W. S. Conover, Merrick J. DeWitt, D. Pinkham, and R. R. Jones


A liquid-crystal-based, laser-pulse shaper has been used in combination with an adaptive genetic feedback algorithm to investigate closed-loop control of intense laser fragmentation of S8 molecules. We observe that the yield ratios SN+:SM+, for the production of specific charged fragments SN+ and SM+, can be enhanced by >300% relative to those observed using transform-limited 150-fs laser pulses. We have explored the effectiveness of time- and frequency-domain pulse parametrizations while shaping either (i) only the spectral-phase distribution or (ii) the spectral-phase and amplitude distributions of the light. We find that pulse complexity, requiring control beyond simple manipulation of the peak pulse intensity and duration, is critical for optimizing the yield ratios for most species. The “optimum” pulse shapes obtained using different pulse parametrizations show significant differences while yielding similar signal enhancements. In some cases, comparison of the different optimum pulse shapes appears to be a useful method for identifying pulse traits that are, or are not, important for manipulating a particular yield ratio. The importance of specific traits in the optimum pulse shapes is also explored numerically using principal control analysis. We conclude that closed-loop control can be effective for optimizing highly nonlinear strong-field processes. However, in general, intensity variations in a focused laser beam severely limit one’s ability to associate the optimization results with specific dynamical mechanisms that bear primary responsibility for the control.


  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
3 More
  • Received 9 August 2005
  • Published 6 December 2005

© 2005 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

E. Wells1,2, K. J. Betsch2, C. W. S. Conover3, Merrick J. DeWitt4,*, D. Pinkham1, and R. R. Jones1,†

  • 1Department of Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4714, USA
  • 2Department of Physics, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57197, USA
  • 3Department of Physics and Astronomy, Colby College, Waterville, Maine 04901, USA
  • 4Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4319, USA

  • *Current address: SPARTA, Inc., 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209, USA.
  • Electronic address:

References (Subscription Required)

Authorization Required




Log In



Article Lookup
Paste a citation or DOI

Enter a citation
  1. Enter a citation to look up or terms to search.

    Ex: "PRL 112 068103", "Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 068103", "10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.068103"