Photoassociation of spin polarized Chromium

TitlePhotoassociation of spin polarized Chromium
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRührig, J, Bäuerle, T, Julienne, PS, Tiesinga, E, Pfau, T
JournalPhysical Review A
Date Published2016/02/29

We report the homonuclear photoassociation (PA) of ultracold 52Cr atoms in an optical dipole trap. This constitutes the first measurement of PA in an element with total electron spin S~>1. Although Cr, with its 7S3 ground and 7P4,3,2 excited states, is expected to have a complicated PA spectrum we show that a spin polarized cloud exhibits a remarkably simple PA spectrum when circularly polarized light is applied. Over a scan range of 20 GHz below the 7P3 asymptote we observe two distinct vibrational series each following a LeRoy-Bernstein law for a C3/R3 potential with excellent agreement. We determine the C3 coefficients of the Hund's case c) relativistic adiabatic potentials to be -1.83±0.02 a.u. and -1.46±0.01a.u.. Theoretical non-rotating Movre-Pichler calculations enable a first assignment of the series to Ω=6u and 5g potential energy curves. In a different set of experiments we disturb the selection rules by a transverse magnetic field which leads to additional PA series.