Velocity-tunable beam of continuously decelerated polar molecules for cold ion-molecule reaction studies

James Greenberg, O. A. Krohn, Jason A. Bossert, Yomay Shyur, David MacAluso, N. J. Fitch, H. J. Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Producing high densities of molecules is a fundamental challenge for low-temperature, ion-molecule reaction studies. Traveling-wave Stark decelerators promise to deliver high density beams of cold, polar molecules but require non-trivial control of high-voltage potentials. We have overcome this experimental challenge and demonstrate continuous deceleration of ND3 from 385 to 10 m/s, while driving the decelerator electrodes with a 10 kV amplitude sinewave. In addition, we test an alternative slowing scheme, which increases the time delay between decelerated packets of ND3 and non-decelerated molecules, allowing for better energy resolution of subsequent reaction studies. We characterize this source of neutral, polar molecules suitable for energy-resolved reaction studies with trapped ions at cold translational temperatures. We also propose a combined apparatus consisting of the traveling-wave decelerator and a linear ion trap with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer and discuss to what extent it may achieve cold, energy-resolved, ion-neutral reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103202
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


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