Strong infrared fields can be used for controlled spinning of molecules to very high angular momentum states. The angular momentum acquired can be sufficient to break molecular bonds. The approach is suitable for all anisotropic molecules, and we illustrate it by dissociating a homonuclear diatomic Cl 2, with optical centrifuge efficiently separating Cl 35 and Cl 37 isotopes and thus demonstrating high sensitivity to the moment of inertia.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.3420
Journal Physical Review Letters
Citation
Karczmarek, J. (Joanna), Wright, J.S, Corkum, P. (Paul), & Ivanov, M. (Misha). (1999). Optical centrifuge for molecules. Physical Review Letters, 82(17), 3420–3423. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.3420