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Building one molecule from a reservoir of two atoms

Liu, L. R. and Hood, J. D. and Yu, Y. and Zhang, J. T. and Hutzler, N. R. and Rosenband, T. and Ni, K.-K. (2018) Building one molecule from a reservoir of two atoms. Science, 360 (6391). pp. 900-903. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.aar7797.

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Chemical reactions typically proceed via stochastic encounters between reactants. Going beyond this paradigm, we combine exactly two atoms into a single, controlled reaction. The experimental apparatus traps two individual laser-cooled atoms (one sodium and one cesium) in separate optical tweezers and then merges them into one optical dipole trap. Subsequently, photo-association forms an excited-state NaCs molecule. The discovery of previously unseen resonances near the molecular dissociation threshold and measurement of collision rates are enabled by the tightly trapped ultracold sample of atoms. As laser-cooling and trapping capabilities are extended to more elements, the technique will enable the study of more diverse, and eventually more complex, molecules in an isolated environment, as well as synthesis of designer molecules for qubits.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Materials Paper
Hutzler, N. R.0000-0002-5203-3635
Additional Information:© 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 15 January 2018; accepted 3 April 2018; published online 12 April 2018. We thank D. DeMille for pointing out spin exchange collisions. K.-K. N. thanks C. Regal for inspiring discussions and D. S. Jin for encouragement to pursue the research presented here. This work is supported by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, as well as the AFOSR Young Investigator Program, the NSF through the Harvard-MIT CUA, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Author contributions: L. R. L., J. D. H., Y. Y., J. T. Z., N. R. H., T. R., K.-K. N. performed the experiment. L. R. L., J. D. H., T. R., K.-K. N. analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. Competing interests: None declared. Data and materials availability: All data are supplied in the paper and supplementary material.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Arnold and Mabel Beckman FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold AtomsUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6391
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180412-141958165
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Official Citation:Building one molecule from a reservoir of two atoms. BY L. R. LIU, J. D. HOOD, Y. YU, J. T. ZHANG, N. R. HUTZLER, T. ROSENBAND, K.-K. NI. SCIENCE 25 MAY 2018 : 900-903
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85791
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Apr 2018 21:37
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:32

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