UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Photoassociation spectroscopy of a degenerate Fermi gas of ⁶Li Semczuk, Mariusz


This thesis describes a suite of experimental tools and spectroscopic measurements performed on ultracold ⁶Li molecules. The aim is to create the necessary ingredients for the coherent transfer of the population of ultracold, weakly bound, Feshbach molecules of ⁶Li to deeply bound ro-vibrational levels, making the eventual creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) of ground state lithium dimers a reality at the University of British Columbia. Some of the technological milestones include the development of a unique laser system consisting of two Ti:Sapphire lasers frequency stabilized to a femtosecond frequency comb as well as the demonstration of the first in Canada BEC of Feshbach molecules. To determine a suitable path for the coherent transfer using stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP) we measure the binding energies of the vibrational levels v''=20-26 of the c(1³Ʃ+g) and v''=29-35 of the A(1¹Ʃ+u) excited states of lithium dimers by the photoassociation of a degenerate Fermi gas of 6Li atoms, achieving accuracy of 600 kHz. For each vibrational level of the triplet potential, we resolve the rotational structure using a Feshbach resonance to enhance the photoassociation rates from p-wave collisions. We also, for the first time, determine the spin-spin and spin-rotation interaction constants for this state. Finally, we are the first to demonstrate exotic dark states in quantum gases of fermionic lithium where atom-molecule coherence is produced between a deeply bound singlet (or triplet) molecular level and atomic pairs in a weakly interacting Fermi gas at zero gauss or in the BEC-BCS crossover regime (i.e. Feshbach molecules or BCS-like pairs). We observe an abrupt and unanticipated change of the classic EIT signature (Electromagnetically Induced Transparency) of the dark-state (i.e. the suppression of single photon absorption to the excited state) in the vicinity of the broad Feshbach resonance at 832.2 gauss potentially indicating new physics not previously considered.

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