Characteristics of a magneto-optical trap of molecules

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Title: Characteristics of a magneto-optical trap of molecules
Authors: Williams, H
Truppe, S
Hambach, M
Caldwell, L
Fitch, N
Hinds, E
Sauer, B
Tarbutt, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We present the properties of a magneto-optical trap (MOT) of CaF molecules. We study the process of loading the MOT from a decelerated bu er-gas-cooled beam, and how best to slow this molecular beam in order to capture the most molecules. We determine how the number of molecules, the photon scattering rate, the oscillation frequency, damping constant, temperature, cloud size and lifetime depend on the key parameters of the MOT, especially the intensity and detuning of the main cooling laser. We compare our results to analytical and numerical models, to the properties of standard atomic MOTs, and to MOTs of SrF molecules. We load up to 2 x 10⁴ molecules, and measure a maximum scattering rate of 2.5 x 10⁶ s⁻¹ per molecule, a maximum oscillation frequency of 100 Hz, a maximum damping constant of 500 s⁻¹, and a minimum MOT rms radius of 1.5 mm. A minimum temperature of 730 μK is obtained by ramping down the laser intensity to low values. The lifetime, typically about 100 ms, is consistent with a leak out of the cooling cycle with a branching ratio of about 6 x 10⁻⁶. The MOT has a capture velocity of about 11 m/s.
Issue Date: 23-Nov-2017
Date of Acceptance: 22-Sep-2017
ISSN: 1367-2630
Publisher: Institute of Physics (IoP) and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
Journal / Book Title: New Journal of Physics
Volume: 19
Copyright Statement: © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence . Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author ( s ) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Commission of the European Communities
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: EP/I012044/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Multidisciplinary
magneto-optical trap
laser-cooled molecules
ultracold molecules
02 Physical Sciences
Fluids & Plasmas
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 113035
Appears in Collections:Quantum Optics and Laser Science
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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