Molecular Ion Entanglement Detection by Single-Molecule Fluorescence

Project: Research project

Project Details


It has long been recognized that trapped molecules hold great potential for ultracold applications, ranging from precision spectroscopy, quantum information processing, ultracold and quantum-controlled chemistry, and blackbody thermometry. As compared with atoms, the extra promise held by molecules for these applications relates to their extra rotational and vibrational degrees of freedom. However, before the full promise of trapped molecules can be realized, the extra degrees of freedom must first be controlled at the quantum level. Funded by AFOSR (previously YIP grant FA9550-10-1-0221 and now FA9550-13-1-0116), our group has gathered conclusive evidence that a single pulse-shaped femtosecond laser can efficiently cool the rotations of AlH+ initially at room temperature. We also have preliminary suggestive evidence for rotational cooling of SiO+. We expect these results to prove revolutionar, since this simple single-laser method for rotational cooling represents the first fast-timescale (microseconds as compared with tens of seconds) approach for rotational optical pumping of trapped molecules. Currently, two different experimental setups in the lab, one on AlH+ and the other on SiO+, are forced to share a single pulsed dye analysis laser, which was purchased several years ago from startup funds. Now that both experiments are gathering rotational cooling data on their separate molecules, the approximately 50% duty cycle on either effort has become highly undesirable. If funded by this proposal, a second pulsed dye analysis laser would nearly double our research productivity, both for the currently funded AFOSR goals and for potential future ARO or ONR projects. An identical version of this proposal has been submitted to AFOSR, ARO, and ONR.
Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/18


  • National Science Foundation (PHY-1404455)


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