An Optical Tweezer Array of Ultracold Molecules

September 26, 2019

Fig. 1 Molecular energy diagram and experimental setup (Anderegg, et al.*)

Ultracold molecules have important applications that range from quantum simulation and computation to precision measurements probing physics beyond the Standard Model. Optical tweezer arrays of laser-cooled molecules, which allow control of individual particles, offer a platform for realizing this full potential. In a recent issue of Science, Harvard physics grad student Loïc Anderegg and colleaguesin Prof. John Doyle's group report on creating an optical tweezer array of laser-cooled calcium monofluoride molecules. This platform has also allowed scientists to observe ground-state collisions of laser-cooled molecules both in the presence and absence of near-resonant light.

*See: L. Anderegg, L.W. Cheuk, Y. Bao, S. Burchesky, W. Ketterle, K.-K. Ni, and J.M. Doyle, "An Optical Tweezer Array of Ultracold Molecules," Science 365 (13 Sep 2019) https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax1265.

Read the Gazette article: Peter Reuell, "Tiny tweezers," October 2, 2019. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/10/harvard-scientists-use-optical-tweezers-to-capture-ultracold-molecules/