Cold Reactive Collisions between laser-cooled ions and velocity-selected neutral molecules

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Feb 1;100(4):043203. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.043203. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


We report a new experimental method to study reactive ion-molecule collisions at very low temperatures. A source of laser-cooled ions in a linear Paul trap has been combined with a quadrupole-guide velocity selector to investigate the reaction of Ca+ with CH3F at collision energies E[over](coll)/k(B)> or =1 K with single-particle sensitivity. The technique represents a general approach to study reactive collisions between ions and polar molecules over a wide temperature range down to the cold regime.