Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Heather Lewandowski

Second Advisor

Barney Ellison

Third Advisor

Eric Cornell

Fourth Advisor

Carl Lineberger

Fifth Advisor

Minhyea Lee


Creating cold molecular samples allows us to study chemical reactions that happen at temperatures characteristic of the interstellar medium. Additionally, cold environments can stabilize very reactive molecules like radicals, which can allow us to study difficult-to-observe reactions or intermediate states in the reaction process. Cryogenic buffer-gas beams (CBGB) have gained popularity as bright, low temperature molecular sources for spectroscopy and reaction studies. We have determined a method for efficiently loading a signicant fraction of these new sources into a traveling-wave Stark decelerator, which uses time-varying inhomogeneous electric fields to decelerate polar molecules. We have also combined a CBGB with the decades-old technology of matrix isolation to create matrix isolated molecule samples, to help us achieve the goals of characterizing this new source and of investigating interactions of cold molecules .