Prospects for Doppler cooling of three-electronic-level molecules

J. H.V. Nguyen*, B. Odom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Analogous to the extension of laser cooling techniques from two-level to three-level atoms, Doppler cooling of molecules with an intermediate electronic state is considered. In particular, we use a rate-equation approach to simulate cooling of SiO+, in which population buildup in the intermediate state is prevented by its short lifetime. We determine that Doppler cooling of SiO+ can be accomplished without optically repumping from the intermediate state, at the cost of causing undesirable parity flips and rotational diffusion. Since the necessary repumping would require a large number of continuous-wave lasers, optical pulse shaping of a femtosecond laser is proposed as an attractive alternative. Other candidate three-electron-level molecules are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053404
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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