Instruments and methods of investigation

Direct laser cooling of molecules

The National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute", Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Orlova Roshcha, Gatchina, Leningradskaya Region, 188300, Russian Federation

The methods of laser cooling of atoms have already long been applied to obtain cold and ultracold atomic gases, including degenerate states, in particular, an atomic Bose—Einstein condensate. The application of laser cooling methods to molecules was assumed until recently to be impossible because of the complex structure of molecular levels and the absence of closed cooling cycles for transitions between electronic levels of molecules in the general case. However, it has recently become clear that laser cooling can be performed for a large class of molecules, including not only the simplest diatomic molecules but also polyatomic molecules. The review presents the general principles for identifying suitable molecules and discusses current studies on and further developments in the laser cooling of molecules.

Fulltext is available at IOP
Keywords: cold molecules, spectroscopy, laser cooling, electronic structure
PACS: 31.10.+z, 33.20.−t, 37.10.De (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.2018.12.038509
Citation: Isaev T A "Direct laser cooling of molecules" Phys. Usp. 63 289–302 (2020)
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Received: 14th, September 2018, revised: 18th, December 2018, 26th, December 2018

Оригинал: Исаев Т А «Прямое лазерное охлаждение молекул» УФН 190 313–328 (2020); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.2018.12.038509

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