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Observation and control of coherent torsional dynamics in a quinquethiophene molecule
By applying femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy to a substituted quinquethiophene molecule in solution, we observe in the time domain the coherent torsional dynamics that drives planarization of the excited state. Our interpretation is based on numerical modeling of the ground and excited state potential energy surfaces and simulation of wavepacket dynamics, which reveals two symmetric excited state deactivation pathways per oscillation period. We use the acquired knowledge on torsional dynamics to coherently control the excited state population with a pump-dump scheme, exploiting the non-stationary Franck-Condon overlap between ground and excited states.