Static Trapping of Polar Molecules in a Traveling Wave Decelerator

Marina Quintero-Perez*, Paul Jansen, Thomas E. Wall, Joost E. van den Berg, Steven Hoekstra, Hendrick L. Bethlem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We present experiments on decelerating and trapping ammonia molecules using a combination of a Stark decelerator and a traveling wave decelerator. In the traveling wave decelerator, a moving potential is created by a series of ring-shaped electrodes to which oscillating high voltages (HV) are applied. By lowering the frequency of the applied voltages, the molecules confined in the moving trap are decelerated and brought to a standstill. As the molecules are confined in a true 3D well, this kind of deceleration has practically no losses, resulting in a great improvement on the usual Stark deceleration techniques. The necessary voltages are generated by amplifying the output of an arbitrary wave generator using fast HV amplifiers, giving us great control over the trapped molecules. We illustrate this by experiments in which we adiabatically cool trapped NH3 and ND3 molecules and resonantly excite their motion. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.133003

Original languageEnglish
Article number133003
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 27-Mar-2013



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