, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 337-350

Molecular transport in pulsed optical lattices

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Abstract

This paper presents an overview of our recent theoretical and experimental work investigating the application of deep, periodic optical dipole potentials (optical lattices) produced by intense pulsed optical fields for the transport of neutral molecular gases. Our review outlines the deceleration of molecules in a molecular beam to create slow cold molecules and also acceleration for production of hyperthermal molecular beams with velocities in excess of 10 km/s for material processing. We describe how bulk motion can be induced in a gas by a traveling optical lattice, even when the gas is not fully trapped by the lattice. In all these cases energy and momentum can be deposited from laser radiation that is not resonant with any internal states. When significant numbers of gas collisions occur during the lattice/laser pulse, gas heating accompanied by the formation of gas jets in free space and bulk drift in a capillary can be induced. Finally, we describe a new nonintrusive laser diagnostic method for measurement of gas properties based on analysis of light scattered from density perturbations induced by lattices.

PACS

32.80.Lg; 42.50.Vk; 51.10.+y; 42.65.Es; 33.20.Fb