2D Magneto-optical trapping of diatomic molecules

Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Apr 5;110(14):143001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.143001. Epub 2013 Apr 1.


We demonstrate one- and two-dimensional transverse laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping of the polar molecule yttrium (II) oxide (YO). In a 1D magneto-optical trap (MOT), we characterize the magneto-optical trapping force and decrease the transverse temperature by an order of magnitude, from 25 to 2 mK, limited by interaction time. In a 2D MOT, we enhance the intensity of the YO beam and reduce the transverse temperature in both transverse directions. The approach demonstrated here can be applied to many molecular species and can also be extended to 3D.