Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay

Full Partner

Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay (ISMO), Université Paris-Sud – B210, 91405 ORSAY cedex, France

Contact info
Tel: +33(0)1 69 15 67 76
Fax: +33(0)1 69 15 67 77

Contact person for housing, travel, etc.
Catherine Salou
Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay (ISMO), Université Paris-Sud – B210, 91405 ORSAY cedex, France
Tel: +33(0)1 69 15 67 76
Email: catherine.salou (at)

Useful Links
ISMO website –

About the Institution
Research at the Orsay Institute of Molecular Sciences (85 researchers – 40 technical and administrative agents) concentrates on the interaction of light and matter and its applications. It is a multidisciplinary institute implanted on the campus of Paris-South University, whose scientific teams have expertise in many different fields like: quantum processes, astrophysics, high-precision spectroscopy, atmospheric chemistry, biology and medical applications. The common background lies in the fields of photo-physics and of nano-sciences. Experimental research at ISMO is based on a significant pool of state-of-the-art equipment (lasers, spectrometers, particle beams, near-field microscopes…). Theorists on the other hand are working on strategies to control the behavior of atoms and molecules at the quantum level. They develop theoretical models that allow a better understanding of atomic and molecular dynamics under extreme light conditions.

About the Groupleader

Eric Charron
Email: eric.charron (at)
Tel: +33(0)1 69 15 61 14

New ultra‐fast molecular imaging techniques based on the measurement of the electron dynamics induced by intense ultra‐short laser pulses have been proposed recently. Due to their potential applications in biological, chemical and physical sciences, it is indeed of primary importance to visualize, at the atomic scale, the ultra‐fast molecular dynamics taking place in a chemical reaction or during an internal rearrangement process.

The conventional methods used to achieve atomic resolution are usually based on X‐ray or electron diffraction. These methods are however limited by current technology, especially in terms of time resolution, thus opening new opportunities for the development of alternative approaches.

One of these approaches consists in the self‐probing of molecules by their own electrons, which are initially extracted and accelerated by a strong laser field, before returning to the vicinity of the parent ion when the electric field reverses sign.

In this context, we study theoretically the induced nuclear and electronic dynamics in molecules by wave packet simulations.[1] In the future, the understanding of the dynamics of valence shell electrons will be explored in order to interpret changes which may appear in the molecular structure during and after the ionization stage. The influence of nuclear motion on two‐electron dynamics in diatomic and small polyatomic molecules is the main focus of our future research plans.

[1]. M. Peters et al, Ultrafast molecular imaging by laser-induced electron diffraction, Phys. Rev. A 83, 051403 (2011).