Brian Odom, Northwestern University
Single-laser optical cooling of molecular rotations
Argonne Physics Division Seminar - 24 Feb 2014
3:30 PM, Building 203, Conference Room R-150

Although ion-ion sympathetic cooling is now commonly used to reduce speeds of trapped molecular ions to milliKelvin temperatures, cooling of the decoupled internal molecular modes remains a challenge. Here, we demonstrate that a single spectrally filtered femtosecond laser, tuned to the electronic A-X transition of trapped AlH+, can efficiently cool rotations from room temperature to the ground state. Since this technique cools by step-wise rotational pumping, it is most readily applicable to “alkali-like” molecular species, such as AlH+, with semi-closed cycling transitions. Although we currently use a destructive two-photon state readout technique, these species are also promising candidates for single-molecule fluorescence detection. The ability to quickly cool molecular rotations is expected to be important for precision spectroscopy experiments, quantum information processing applications, and for ultracold chemistry studies.

Argonne Physics Division Seminar Schedule