Light control of bond breaking in symmetric molecules

A team including researchers from MPQ, KSU and LMU has discovered a new quantum control mechanism to selectively break C-H bonds in symmetric hydrocarbon molecules with the waveform of femtosecond laser pulses. Chemical bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms are amongst the strongest in nature and their selective breaking, in particular in symmetric molecules, is of interest to chemical synthesis and the development of new biologically active molecules.