Title

Production, detection and trapping of ultracold molecular rubidium

Date of Completion

January 2006

Keywords

Physics, Molecular|Physics, Atomic|Physics, Optics

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Production and state-selective detection of ultracold molecular rubidium (85Rb2) in the singlet ground state and the metastable triplet state are described. Ultracold 85Rb2 molecules are produced via photoassociation followed by radiative decay. State-selective detection of high-ν ground-state and metastable-state molecules is carried out by resonant Two-photon ionization (R2PI) with a pulsed laser. The spectra of both the ground singlet and metastable triplet states are investigated. Spectroscopy of several intermediate excited states, some of which are observed for the first time, is also studied. Mixing between excited singlet and triplet states is observed in both the singlet and triplet spectra. A proposal for producing ν = 0 ground-state molecules by utilizing this singlet-triplet mixing is given. Magnetic trapping and filtering of metastable triplet-state molecules is also described, and a scheme for optical trapping of molecules is proposed.^