Trapping neutral molecules in a traveling potential well

Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Jun 19;84(25):5744-7. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.84.5744.


A series of pulsed electric fields can be arranged such that it creates a traveling potential well in which neutral dipolar molecules can be confined. This provides a method to transport, to decelerate, and to cool a sample of neutral molecules while maintaining the initial phase-space density. This method is described using the concept of phase stability. The oscillating motion of molecules in the traveling potential well, reaching a minimum velocity spread corresponding to a translational temperature of 4 mK, is experimentally observed.