Cold Atoms
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Near-Threshold Photoassociation of 87Rb2
M. Kemmann, I. Mistrik, S. Nussmann, and H. Helm
Department of Molecular and Optical Physics, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 3, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany

C. J. Williams and P. S. Julienne
National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8423, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-8423, USA

Abstract:

Photoassociation of cold 87Rb(5s,fb = 2) atom pairs is studied within 13 GHz of the dissociation limits 87Rb(5p3/2,fa)+87Rb(5s,fb = 2). Vibrational levels in the long range, hyperfine manifolds of the 0g- and 1g states arising from the 87Rb(5p3/2) fine structure limit are identified to lead to the formation of stable molecules in the photoassociation process. The vibrational bands are observed to break off, at positions matching the energetic location of potential-energy barriers predicted in the hyperfine manifolds at about 1 GHz above the 87Rb(5p3/2,fa = 3)+87Rb(5s,fb = 1) dissociation limit. Empiricial potential-energy curves are derived from the data. These are found to be in agreement with predictions based on the long-range hyperfine recoupling of the excited molecular states. The selectivity of the excitation process and predissociation mechanisms are discussed. ©2004 The American Physical Society


©2004 Phys. Rev. A.69, 022715, 1-7 (2004)

URL: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v69/e022715
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevA.69.022715
PACS:34.20.Cf, 32.70.Cs, 32.80.Pj


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