Preparation and Storage of Ultracold Molecules: Overview
In contrast to the large field of laser-cooled atoms and atomic ions the field of "Ultracold molecules" is quite young and a lot of interesting results can be expected.
In our group we develop techniques for cooling and manipulating molecules. We use the method of "sympathetic cooling": Laser-cooling, which for atoms works very well, cannot be used for molecules. Therefore the molecules are trapped together with laser-cooled atomic ions in a linear Paul (RF) trap. By Coulomb interactions the molecules are indirectly cooled by the atomic ions.
The ultracold molecular ions provide a wide spectrum of possible investigations. Two projects are underway: In the first project laser spectroscopy on a very simple molecule, HD+ will be performed (Laser Spectroscopy on Ultracold HD+). The results will be of interest especially in fundamental physics. A second project aims at Preparation and Storage of Ultracold Complex Molecules . The technique could become an interesting tool in physical chemistry to study complex molecules.
For details see: