High-order harmonic generation from highly excited states in acetylene

Peter Mulholland, Daniel Dundas

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High-order harmonic generation (HHG) from aligned acetylene molecules interacting with mid infra-red (IR), linearly polarized laser pulses is studied theoretically using a mixed quantum-classical approach in which the electrons are described using time-dependent density-functional theory while the ions are treated classically. We find that for molecules aligned perpendicular to the laser polarization axis, HHG arises from the highest-occupied molecular orbital (HOMO), while for molecules aligned along the laser polarization axis, HHG is dominated by the HOMO-1. In the parallel orientation we observe a double plateau with an inner plateau that is produced by ionization from and recombination back to an autoionizing state. Two pieces of evidence support this idea. First, by choosing a suitably tuned vacuum ultraviolet pump pulse that directly excites the autoionizing state we observe a dramatic enhancement of all harmonics in the inner plateau. Second, in certain circumstances, the position of the inner plateau cutoff does not agree with the classical three-step model. We show that this discrepancy can be understood in terms of a minimum in the dipole recombination matrix element from the continuum to the autoionizing state.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043428
JournalPhysical Review A (Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics)
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018

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