We demonstrate rotational and vibrational cooling of cesium dimers by optical pumping techniques. We use two laser sources exciting all the populated rovibrational states, except a target state that thus behaves like a dark state where molecules pile up thanks to absorption-spontaneous emission cycles. We are able to accumulate photoassociated cold Cs 2 molecules in their absolute ground state (v=0, J=0) with up to 40% efficiency. Given its simplicity, the method could be extended to other molecules and molecular beams. It also opens up general perspectives in laser cooling the external degrees of freedom of molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy