State purity of decelerated molecular beams

N. J. Fitch, D. A. Esteves, M. I. Fabrikant, T. C. Briles, Y. Shyur, L. P. Parazzoli, H. J. Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cold, velocity-controlled molecular beams consisting of a single quantum state are a powerful tool for exploring molecular interactions. Here, we explore the state purity and resulting dynamics of a Stark-decelerated beam of ammonia molecules where numerous rotational states are initially populated. Under these circumstances, Stark deceleration is shown to be ineffective at producing a molecular beam consisting of a single quantum state. Therefore, quantum state purity must be carefully considered when using Stark decelerated beams and analogous techniques, particularly in collision experiments where contributions from all quantum states must be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Spectroscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Cold molecules
  • Molecular beams
  • Stark deceleration


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