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Coherent Control of Molecular Scattering Using Stark Induced Adiabatic Raman Passage


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In order to study cold collisions in the greatest possible detail, our objective is to prepare molecules in a single vibrationally excited quantum state with a precise rotational quantum number. By eliminating averaging over initial states, our goal is to understand the fundamental nature of microscopic forces that bind matter together. To study quantum controlled collisions, we plan to prepare diatomic molecules such as H2, HD, HCl, CO, NO, as well as linear polyatomic molecules like C2H2 in high vibrational states using a coherent optical method called Stark-induced adiabatic Raman passage or SARP. SARP has been demonstrated by us to effectively prepare large populations of hydrogen molecules in a single rovibrationally excited (v, j) quantum state within the collision free ambience of a supersonically expanded molecular beam. The co-expansion of colliding partners in a single beam brings the collision temperature down to a few Kelvin and specifies the direction of their relative velocity. To overcome the reaction barrier in a cold collision we need to prepare highly vibrationally excited target states. Our objective is to understand at what level of vibrational stretch the constituent atoms become reactive enough to overcome the barrier.



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