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Claude Cohen Tannoudji

Prix Nobel en 1997 pour le ralentissement et le piégeage des atomes par la lumière laser.

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Accueil du site > Thèses et habilitations > Ultracold polar molecules : internal structure and optical control

Ultracold polar molecules : internal structure and optical control

PhD thesis defense of Dimitri Borsalino (LAC)

Friday, September 25th at 2:30 P.M., in salle Balmer, at laboratoire Aimé Cotton.

Abstract :

This thesis deals with ultracold molecules research, which interest has been growing for several years. Unlike atoms, laser-cooling molecules is very difficult. Alternative methods are necessary to be searched for in order to create ultracold molecular gases. This theoretical work focuses on a particular type of heteronuclear diatomic molecules, possessing an intrinsic electric or magnetic dipole moment, from which originates their mutual anisotropic interactions.

Based on the precise knowledge of KRb and KCs molecules (possessing a significant intrinsic electric dipole moment) spectroscopy, combined with theoretical results, the cooling of their internal degrees of freedom using Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage (STIRAP), a laser process bringing molecules towards their absolute ground state, has been modelled. Several STIRAP schemes have been investigated and compared regarding their efficiency.

The RbCa molecule has then been studied, which spectroscopy is still unknown. The ability of controlling the anisotropic interactions induced by the simultaneous presence of an electric and magnetic dipole moment provided by this species is a clear advantage. The electronic structure of RbCa has been computed with two methods, thus allowing to estimate the reliability of the results. A scheme of laser transitions bringing to the formation of cold RbCa molecules from separate atoms has been proposed.

Manipulating and trapping molecules relies on the precise knowledge of their response to an external electromagnetic field, characterised by their dynamic dipolar polarisability. The quantum chemistry calculations mentioned earlier allowed us to compute high-lying excited states, dynamic polarisability has then been computed for a whole set of diatomic molecules (alkali dimers, RbCa, RbSr, …). The optimal parameters for trapping those molecules has then been determined.

This thesis was carried out under the supervision of Nadia Bouloufa and Olivier Dulieu, at Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, Orsay.

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