Time-of-flight Mass Spectroscopy

 

 

Ultrafast pulses of light from the various laser systems in the lab are focused to produce ionization sources with associated field strengths in excess of the fields binding electrons to atoms and molecules.  Under these condition, ionization can occur not only through the usual multiphoton mechanisms, but through tunneling and direct barrier suppression as well.  These intense pulses, with excitation periods on the order of vibrational periods in molecules, allow the study of energy redistribution in electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom in the perturbative and non-perturbative limit. 
 An ultra-high vacuum chamber with a base pressure of 10-10 torr equipped for simple linear time-of-flight device is located in the Ultrafast Laser Facility for these high-field ionization studies.