Vibrational cooling of cold molecules with optimised shaped pulses

D. Sofikitis, A. Fioretti*, S. Weber, R. Horchani, M. Pichler, X. Li, M. Allegrini, B. Chatel, D. Comparat, P. Pillet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A review of our recent experiments on broadband vibrational cooling of cold cesium molecules and of the related theory is presented. Our method is based on repetitive optical pumping cycles driven by laser light which is broad enough to excite all populated vibrational levels. Originally, the accumulation of molecular population in a particular, pre-selected vibrational level was achieved by removing from the broadband light all frequencies that could excite that vibrational level and thus making it a ‘dark state’ of the system. Here, we focus onto an additional, more sophisticated shaping method, which consists of selecting only specific frequency components that excite molecules into vibrational levels that favourably decay into the pre-selected level. The population transfer to any desired state can thus be optimised, i.e. the total population transfer to the desired vibrational level is maximised while the number of absorption–emission cycles required for the vibrational cooling is minimised. Finally, we apply this optimised technique to some more complex and still experimentally open cases: the pumping into the (Formula presented.) ground state for the case of Cs2 homonuclear molecules, the rotational pumping into a pre-selected ro-vibrational level and the NaCs as an example for heteronuclear molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-810
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2010


  • Cold molecules
  • Cold molecules cooling
  • Optical pumping
  • Pulse shaping
  • Vibrational cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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