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Formation of ultracold polar molecules via Raman excitation

Abstract.

Alkali hydride molecules are very polar, exhibiting large ground-state dipole moments. As ultracold sources of alkali atoms, as well as hydrogen, have been created in the laboratory, we explore theoretically the feasibility of forming such molecules from a mixture of the ultracold atomic gases, employing a two-photon stimulated radiative association process -- Raman excitation. Using accurate molecular potential energy curves and dipole transition moments, we have calculated the rate coefficients for populating all the vibrational levels of the X \(^1{\rm\Sigma}^ + \) state of LiH via the excited A \(^1{\rm\Sigma}^ + \) state. We have found that significant molecule formation rates can be realized with laser intensities and atomic densities that are attainable experimentally. Because of the large X state dipole moment, rapid cascade occurs down the ladder of vibrational levels to v = 0. The calculated recoil momentum imparted to the molecule is small, and thus negligible trap loss results from the cascade process. This allows for the build-up of a large population of v = 0 trapped molecules.

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Author information

Correspondence to E. Taylor-Juarros.

Additional information

Received: 31 August 2004, Published online: 23 November 2004

PACS:

34.50.Rk Laser-modified scattering and reactions - 32.80.Pj Optical cooling of atoms; trapping - 33.20.Vq Vibration-rotation analysis

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Taylor-Juarros, E., Côté, R. & Kirby, K. Formation of ultracold polar molecules via Raman excitation. Eur. Phys. J. D 31, 213–219 (2004) doi:10.1140/epjd/e2004-00157-4

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Keywords

  • Dipole Moment
  • Vibrational Level
  • Potential Energy Curve
  • Dipole Transition Moment
  • Transition Moment