Low-energy scattering of molecules and ions in a magnetic field

F. Robicheaux
2014 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
We describe a method for cooling neutral molecules that have magnetic and electric dipole moments using collisions with cold ions. An external magnetic field is used to split the ground rovibrational energy levels of the molecule. The highest energy state within the ground rovibrational manifold increases in energy as the distance to the ion decreases leading to a repelling potential. At low energy, inelastic collisions are strongly suppressed due to the large distance of closest approach.
more » ... sest approach. Thus, a collision between a neutral molecule and a cold ion will lead to a decrease in the molecule's kinetic energy with no change in internal energy. We present results for the specific case of OH molecules cooled by Be$^+$, Mg$^+$, or Ca$^+$ ions.
doi:10.1103/physreva.89.062701 fatcat:u5qxumqq45cvhlk5fpnpu6q4qa