Rydberg-Stark deceleration of atoms and molecules
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
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Accepted: 27 December 2015
Published online: 1 March 2016
The large electric dipole moments associated with highly excited Rydberg states of atoms and molecules make gas-phase samples in these states very well suited to deceleration and trapping using inhomogeneous electric fields. The methods of Rydberg-Stark deceleration with which this can be achieved are reviewed here. Using these techniques, the longitudinal motion of beams of atoms and molecules moving at speeds as high as 2500 m/s have been manipulated, with changes in kinetic energy of up to |Δ E kin|=1.3×10−20 J (|Δ E kin|/e=80 meV or |Δ E kin|/h c=650 cm −1) achieved, while decelerated and trapped samples with number densities of 106– 107 cm −3 and translational temperatures of ∼150 mK have been prepared. Applications of these samples in areas of research at the interface between physics and physical chemistry are discussed.
Key words: Rydberg states of atoms and molecules / Stark effect / Stark deceleration / Cold atoms and molecules
© Hogan; licensee Springer., 2016
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 cited.