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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 525-528

Coherent control for ultrafast photochemical reactions

Regina de Vivie-Riedle*, Lukas Kurtz and Angelika Hofmann

Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Strasse 1, D-85748 Garching, Germany

Abstract: Many photochemical processes involving the breaking and formation of chemical bonds take place on a femtosecond time scale. By means of ultrafast laser pulses it became possible to monitor these events in real time with a temporal resolution in the sub-20 fs regime. Moving beyond the observation to the control of chemical reactions requires additional theoretical and experimental effort. We illustrate with the aid of selected model systems the concepts and possibilities of "passive" and "active" control and their differences.