Electrostatic focusing of cold and heavy molecules for the ACME electron EDM search

X. Wu*, P. Hu, Z. Han, D. G. Ang, C. Meisenhelder, G. Gabrielse, J. M. Doyle, D. DeMille

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The current best upper limit for electron electric dipole moment (EDM), |d e| < 1.1 × 10−29 e cm (90% confidence), was set by the ACME Collaboration in 2018. The ACME experiment uses a spin-precession measurement in a cold beam of thorium monoxide (ThO) molecules to detect d e. An improvement in statistical uncertainty would be possible with more efficient use of molecules from the cryogenic buffer gas beam source. Here, we demonstrate electrostatic focusing of the ThO beam with a hexapole lens. This results in a factor of 16 enhancement in the molecular flux detectable downstream, in a beamline similar to that built for the next generation of ACME. We also demonstrate an upgraded rotational cooling scheme that increases the ground state population by 3.5 times compared to no cooling, consistent with expectations and a factor of 1.4 larger than previously in ACME. When combined with other demonstrated improvements, we project over an order of magnitude improvement in statistical sensitivity for the next generation ACME electron EDM search.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number073043
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • cold polar molecule
  • electron EDM
  • electrostatic lens
  • precision measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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