Prospects for sympathetic cooling of molecules in electrostatic, ac and microwave traps
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We consider how trapped molecules can be sympathetically cooled by ultracold atoms. As a prototypical system, we study LiH molecules co-trapped with ultracold Li atoms. We calculate the elastic and inelastic collision cross sections of 7LiH + 7Li with the molecules initially in the ground state and in the first rotationally excited state. We then use these cross sections to simulate sympathetic cooling in a static electric trap, an ac electric trap, and a microwave trap. In the static trap we find that inelastic losses are too great for cooling to be feasible for this system. The ac and microwave traps confine ground-state molecules, and so inelastic losses are suppressed. However, collisions in the ac trap can take molecules from stable trajectories to unstable ones and so sympathetic cooling is accompanied by trap loss. In the microwave trap there are no such losses and sympathetic cooling should be possible.
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