Keeping Reactions Under Quantum Control

Science  27 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5517, pp. 648-649
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060883

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It has long been proposed that reactions can be controlled with lasers, but success with complex systems had to wait until ultrafast lasers heralded the field of femtosecond chemistry. In their Perspective, Hurley and Castleman highlight the report of Levis et al., who show that strong-field laser pulses can be used to control a dissociative rearrangement reaction. Bonds are not only selectively broken but also selectively formed.