Optimal beam sources for Stark decelerators in collision experiments: a tutorial review
Radboud University, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Heijendaalseweg 135, AJ Nijmegen, 6525, Netherlands
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Accepted: 7 July 2015
Published online: 6 August 2015
With the Stark deceleration technique, packets of molecules with a tunable velocity, a narrow velocity spread, and a high state purity can be produced. These tamed molecular beams find applications in high resolution spectroscopy, cold molecule trapping, and controlled scattering experiments. The quality and purity of the packets of molecules emerging from the decelerator critically depend on the specifications of the decelerator, but also on the characteristics of the molecular beam pulse with which the decelerator is loaded. We consider three frequently used molecular beam sources, and discuss their suitability for molecular beam deceleration experiments, in particular with the application in crossed beam scattering in mind. The performance of two valves in particular, the Nijmegen Pulsed Valve and the Jordan Valve, is illustrated by decelerating ND 3 molecules in a 2.6 meter-long Stark decelerator. We describe a protocol to characterize the valve, and to optimally load the pulse of molecules into the decelerator. We characterize the valves regarding opening time duration, optimal valve-to-skimmer distance, mean velocity, velocity spread, state purity, and relative intensity.
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© Vogels et al., 2015
licensee Springer on behalf of EPJ. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.