OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 16 — Aug. 3, 2009
  • pp: 13671–13676

Laser-driven clockwise molecular rotation for a transient spinning waveplate

Andrew G. York  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 16, pp. 13671-13676 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (3617 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Our simulations show a copropagating pair of laser pulses polarized in two different directions can selectively excite clockwise or counterclockwise molecular rotation in a gas of linear molecules. The resulting birefringence of the gas rotates on a femtosecond timescale and shows a periodic revival structure. The total duration of the pulse pair can be subpicosecond, allowing molecular alignment at the high densities and temperatures necessary to create a transient spinning waveplate.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(190.5650) Nonlinear optics : Raman effect
(320.5540) Ultrafast optics : Pulse shaping

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: June 2, 2009
Revised Manuscript: July 19, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: July 20, 2009
Published: July 24, 2009

Andrew G. York, "Laser-driven clockwise molecular rotation for a transient spinning waveplate," Opt. Express 17, 13671-13676 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. Bartels, T. Weinacht, N. Wagner, M. Baertschy, C. Greene, M. Murnane, and H. Kapteyn, "Phase modulation of ultrashort light pulses using molecular rotational wave packets," Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(1) (2002). [PubMed]
  2. N. Zhavoronkov and G. Korn, "Generation of single intense short optical pulses by ultrafast molecular phase modulation," Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(20), 203901 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. S. Varma, Y.-H. Chen, and H. M. Milchberg, "Trapping and destruction of long-range high-intensity optical filaments by molecular quantum wakes in air," Phys. Rev. Lett. 101(20), 205001 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, and S. Stagira, "Optical propagation in molecular gases undergoing filamentation-assisted field-free alignment," Phys. Rev. A 79(2), 023827 (2009). [CrossRef]
  5. A. G. York and H. M. Milchberg, "Broadband terahertz lasing in aligned molecules," Opt. Express,  16(14), 10557-10564 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Y.-H. Chen, S. Varma, A. York, and H. M. Milchberg, "Single-shot space- and time-resolved measurement of rotational wavepacket revivals in H2, D2, N2, O2, and N2O," Opt. Express 15(18), 1341-11357 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. K. Hartinger and R. A. Bartels, "Single-shot measurement of ultrafast time-varying phase modulation induced by femtosecond laser pulses with arbitrary polarization," Applied Physics Letters 92(2), 021126 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. D. M. Villeneuve, S. A. Aseyev, P. Dietrich, M. Spanner, M. Yu. Ivanov, and P. B. Corkum, "Forced molecular rotation in an optical centrifuge," Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(3), 542-545 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. T. Brixner, G. Krampert, T. Pfeifer, R. Selle, G. Gerber, M. Wollenhaupt, O. Graefe, C. Horn, D. Liese, and T. Baumert. "Quantum control by ultrafast polarization shaping," Phys. Rev. Lett. 92(20), 208301 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. K. Hartinger and R. A. Bartels, "Pulse polarization splitting in a transient wave plate," Opt. Lett. 31(23), 3526- 3528 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. C. Marceau, Y. Chen, F. Th’eberge, M. Chateauneuf, J. Dubois, and S. L. Chin, "Ultrafast birefringence induced by a femtosecond laser filament in gases," Opt. Lett. 34(9), :417-1419 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. P. Bejot, Y. Petit, L. Bonacina, J. Kasparian, M. Moret, and J.-P. Wolf, "Ultrafast gaseous "half-wave plate," Opt. Express 16(10), 7564-7570 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. A. R. Edmonds, Angular momentum in quantum mechanics (Princeton University Press, 1996).
  14. W. Schweizer, Numerical quantum dynamics (Springer, 2001).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: MPG (1640 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited