UBC Undergraduate Research

Single color photoassociation spectroscopy of ⁶Li₂ and ⁸⁵Rb₂ Haw, Magnus


Single color photoassociation (PA) of ⁸⁵Rb₂ and ⁶Li₂ was achieved in an optical dipole trap with the goal of measuring new vibrational levels of the 1³∑g state of ⁶Li₂. Initial benchmark tests using Rb were performed to determine the optimum conditions for observing photoassociation on the apparatus: >.5 kW/cm² PA laser intensity, high density, low temperature (∼ 10ɲK), and long hold times (>1s). These tests with Rb also revealed discrepancies between dipole trap PA data and spectra taken in a magneto-optic trap on another experiment (MAT). Initial calculations for the locations of the ⁶Li₂ lines were carried out using fitted potentials provided to us by Nikesh Dattani [5]. We observed seven ⁶Li₂ PA lines that were within 1 cm⁻¹ of the predicted values. Because of this good agreement between theory and measurement for all seven lines, we are confident that these lines are indeed vibrational levels of the 1³∑g state of Li₂. Additional studies of two of these peaks revealed five or six-fold splitting due to the magnetic field.

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