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Title: Coherent control of ultracold polar molecules
Author: Gregory, Philip David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 9613
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis presents the development of a toolbox for the coherent control of ultracold polar molecules. Such systems of molecules promise the creation of long-lived, highly dipolar quantum gases with applications spanning the fields of quantum state controlled chemistry, quantum information, quantum simulation, and precision measurement. However, the addition of vibrational and rotational degrees of freedom leads to molecular systems being significantly more complex than their widely used atomic counterparts. In this work we demonstrate full control of the quantum state down to the hyperfine level of an optically trapped sample of ultracold bosonic 87Rb133 Cs molecules, and exploit that control to begin an investigation into the collision processes which take place in an ultracold molecular gas. We create a sample of up to ∼ 4000 optically trapped molecules in their rovibronic and hyperfine ground state. We characterise the molecules by measuring their temperature, binding energy, and molecule-frame electric dipole moment. We perform spectroscopy of the first rotationally excited state with hyperfine state resolution using microwaves to determine accurate values of rotational and hyperfine coupling constants. We use coherent π pulses to perform complete transfer population between selected hyperfine levels of the ground, first-excited, and second-excited rotational states. We investigate the effect of the off-resonant light of our optical dipole trap on the rotational and hyperfine structure of the molecules. Through a combination of high-resolution microwave spectroscopy and parametric heating measurements, we characterise the polarisability of the 87Rb133Cs molecule. We demonstrate that coupling between neighbouring hyperfine states manifests in rich structure with many avoided crossings in any rotational state other than the ground state. This coupling may be tuned by rotating the polarisation of the linearly polarised trapping light. Finally, we study the lifetime of polar bosonic 87Rb133Cs molecules in our 3D optical dipole trap. We examine the lifetime of the molecules as a function of dipole trap intensity, magnetic field, and hyperfine and rotational state. Despite the chemical stability of the 87Rb133 Cs molecule, we observe lifetimes of ∼1 s corresponding to 2-body decay rates close to the universal limit.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available