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Magnetic Trapping of Molecules via Optical Loading and Magnetic Slowing

December 16, 2013 - 1:30pm
Hsin-I Lu


Methods for delivering cold, chemically diverse molecules in large quantities could impact the areas of quantum simulation, cold controlled chemistry, and precision measurements. Towards a general approach to trapping and cooling molecules, including polyatomic species, we have implemented few photon loading of molecules into magnetic traps. We report magnetic trapping of calcium monofluoride (CaF) using optical pumping and magnetic slowing. Starting from a buffer-gas cooled slow beam, CaF with an initial velocity of 30 m/s is further slowed via magnetic forces as it enters a 800 mK deep magnetic trap. Employing two-stage optical pumping, CaF is irreversibly loaded into the trap via two scattered photons. We observe a trap lifetime exceeding 500 ms, limited by background collisions. This method paves the way for cooling and magnetic trapping of chemically diverse molecules without closed cycling transitions. Cold atom-molecule collisions, cold controlled chemistry, and sympathetic cooling of molecules will be studied based on this work.

[1] A cold and slow molecular beam. H.-I Lu, J. Rasmussen, M. J. Wright, D. Patterson, and J. M. Doyle. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 18986-18990

[2] Magnetic Trapping of Molecules via Optical Loading and Magnetic Slowing. H.-I Lu, I. Kozyryev, B. Hemmerling, J. Piskorski, and J. M. Doyle. arXiv:1310.2669

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College Park, MD 20742