Recently Itatani et al. [Nature 432, 876 (2004)] introduced the new concept of molecular orbital tomography, where high harmonic generation (HHG) is used to image electronic wave functions. We describe an alternative reconstruction form, using momentum instead of dipole matrix elements for the electron recombination step in HHG. We show that using this velocity‐form reconstruction, one obtains better results than using the original length‐form reconstruction. We provide numerical evidence for our claim that one has to resort to extremely short pulses to perform the reconstruction for an orbital with arbitrary symmetry. The numerical evidence is based on the exact solution of the time‐dependent Schrödinger equation for 2D model systems to simulate the experiment. Furthermore we show that in the case of cylindrically symmetric orbitals, such as the N2 orbital that was reconstructed in the original work, one can obtain the full 3D wave function and not only a 2D projection of it.

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