# Maximum kinetic energy (KE) per fragment for N_{2} extracted from figure 4(f) and from simulation; effective internuclear distances for all observed charge pairs

**Table 1.** Maximum kinetic energy (KE) per fragment for N_{2} extracted from figure 4(f) and from simulation; effective internuclear distances for all observed charge pairs. Statistical uncertainties in the last digits are given in parentheses (two sigma); however, larger systematic errors may not be excluded.

**Abstract**

Single-shot time-of-flight spectra for Coulomb explosion of N_{2} and I_{2} molecules have been recorded at the Free Electron LASer in Hamburg (FLASH) and have been analysed using a partial covariance mapping technique. The partial covariance analysis unravels a detailed picture of all significant Coulomb explosion pathways, extending up to the N^{4+}–N^{5+} channel for nitrogen and up to the I^{8+}–I^{9+} channel for iodine. The observation of the latter channel is unexpected if only sequential ionization processes from the ground state ions are considered. The maximum kinetic energy release extracted from the covariance maps for each dissociation channel shows that Coulomb explosion of nitrogen molecules proceeds much faster than that of the iodine. The N_{2} ionization dynamics is modelled using classical trajectory simulations in good agreement with the outcome of the experiments. The results suggest that covariance mapping of the Coulomb explosion can be used to measure the intensity and pulse duration of free-electron lasers.