The notion that strong laser light can intervene and modify the dynamical processes of matter has been demonstrated and exploited both in gas and condensed phases.

The central objective of laser control schemes has been the modification of branching ratios in chemical processes, under the philosophy that conveniently tailored light can steer the dynamics of a chemical mechanism towards desired targets. Less explored is the role that strong laser control can play on chemical stereodynamics, i.e. the angular distribution of the products of a chemical reaction in space. This work demonstrates for the case of methyl iodide that when a molecular bond breaking process takes place in the presence of an intense infrared laser field, its stereodynamics is profoundly affected, and that the intensity of this laser field can be used as an external knob to control it.

María E. Corrales, Rebeca de Nalda y Luis Bañares, Strong laser field control of fragment spatial distributions from a photodissociation reaction. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01139-6.

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