Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Measurement of Cold Molecular Collisions between co-trapped OH and Rb Public Deposited

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  • Cold molecules are an important tool in the study of precision measurement, chemical physics,and quantum collisions. Polar radical molecules, like the hydroxyl radical OH, are particularly interesting due to their importance as short lived intermediates in extreme chemical environments, such as the interstellar medium, the atmosphere, and combustion. In this thesis, we describe the OHRbIT Experiment (OH and Rb Interacting in Traps). With this experiment, we seek to measure the cross sections of collisions between cold OH molecules and ultracold Rb atoms in a co-trapped environment. Rubidium atoms are trapped in a quadrapole magnetic field at a temperature of T ∼ 500μK. The atoms are transported through the vacuum chamber to overlap with an electrostatic quadrapole trap that is used to trap OH molecules. The OH molecules are slowed using a Stark Decelerator and trapped in the electric quadrapole trap with a temperature of ∼ 50mK. The cross sections of the interaction are extracted from measurements of the evolution of the number and energy distribution of the trapped OH molecules. We describe the 1+1’ resonantlyenhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) detection scheme that allows us to measure the energy distribution of the OH molecules. We also discuss the production of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light at 118nm that is used in the REMPI detection.

Date Issued
  • 2022-07-22
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  • 2022-09-17
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