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Laser Cooling of Polyatomic Molecules

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2015,20 Sep 2018

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Harvard University Cambridge United States

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During this grant we achieved and characterized efficient Sisyphus laser cooling of a polyatomic molecule from 50 mK to below 1 mK in 1dimension. We demonstrated transverse cooling and heating of a SrOH beam using two different electronic transitions, studied loss channels tovibrational states including the bending mode, and highlighted extensions to more complex metal monoalkoxides with six and more atoms. Ourresults were published in Physical Review Letters and selected as Editors suggestion and featured in Physics Viewpoint. To explore laser coolingof more complex molecules, we performed detailed theoretical calculations of Franck-Condon factors and vibrational branching ratios for SrOCH3and CaOCH3, which are isoelectronic to triatomic SrOH and CaOH. We also created a 1-D MOT of CaOH, a significant step to a MOT ofCaOCH3. In addition, in collaboration with Tim Steimle of ASU, we performed dispersed fluorescence of CaOCH3, our target molecule for lasercooling in the future. We determined experimentally the Franck-Condon factors for the X-A and X-B transitions, finding both suitable for lasercooling although the X-A transition is simpler.

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  • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy

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