Tailoring the optical dipole force for molecules by field-induced alignment

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Oct 9;103(15):153001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.153001. Epub 2009 Oct 5.


We report on the ability to tailor the optical dipole force for molecules by tuning their effective polarizability with strong field alignment using polarized fields. We have measured a difference of 20% in the dipole force on cold CS2 molecules when changing from linear to near-circular polarization using peak field intensities of 5.7x10(11) W cm(-2). A variation in the focal length with laser polarization of a molecular-optical lens formed by a single focused laser beam was also measured. This provides a new way of modifying this force for many molecules.