H-3(+) is the simplest triatomic molecule and plays an important role in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. It is very stable both in terms of its electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom but is difficult to study in depth in the laboratory due to its ionic nature. In this communication, experimental results are presented for the strong field dissociation of the isotopic analogue D-3(+), using 30 fs, 800 nm laser pulses with intensities up to 10(16) W cm(-2). By employing a novel experimental set-up, ions were confined in an electrostatic ion trap so that dissociation of the molecule could be studied as it radiatively cools. It was determined that dissociation could only be observed for molecules in ro-vibrational states relatively close to the dissociation limit, while more tightly bound states demonstrated remarkable stability in even the strongest fields.
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics