Theses Doctoral

Ultracold dipolar gases of NaCs ground state molecules

Lam, Aden Zhen Hao

Ultracold bialkali polar molecules present a wealth of opportunities in quantum science research and technology; including fields such as quantum simulation, quantum chemistry, quantum metrology, precision measurement and quantum computation. A great deal of interest lies in their rich internal rotational and vibrational state structure and their large electric dipole moment. However, the additional complexity also provides significant challenges. To date, only a limited number of molecular species are available at ultracold temperatures below 1 microkelvin. The assembly of heteronuclear ground state molecules from ultracold atoms has emerged as a promising approach for creating ultracold molecules. In this thesis, I will present the creation of the first ultracold gases of NaCs ground state molecules. First, we produce an ultracold mixture of Na and Cs. Second, we associate weakly bound molecular pairs from the Na-Cs mixture. Finally, we apply a two-photon stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP) pulse to transfer the weakly bound NaCs molecules into the deeply bound rovibrational ground state.

I report on the construction of a new apparatus that produces ultracold mixtures of Na and Cs. We use this apparatus to assemble weakly bound NaCs molecules and successfully transfer up to 20,000 ultracold dipolar NaCs molecules to their rovibrational ground state in each experimental run. On the way to these results, we demonstrated a pathway towards creating the first quantum degenerate mixtures of Na and Cs. We identified and characterized an interspecies Feshbach resonance at 864.12(5) G, adiabatically sweeping across it to form weakly bound NaCs Feshbach molecules. We characterized the Feshbach molecule formation in various parameter regimes. Next, we performed a study of accessible NaCs excited states and identified a pathway to the rovibrational ground state using one- and two-photon spectroscopy. Finally, we demonstrated STIRAP to the rovibrational ground state, and investigated basic properties of the ground state molecules.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Will, Sebastian
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2022