Cold collisions of highly rotationally excited CO2 with He: The prospects for cold chemistry with super-rotors

W. H. Al-Qady, R. C. Forrey, B. H. Yang, P. C. Stancil, N. Balakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Building on recent advances in ultrafast lasers and methods to slow molecules, an experiment is proposed to produce translationally cold CO 2 super-rotors (j∼200) by combining an optical centrifuge with helium-buffer-gas cooling. Quantum mechanical calculations of the complex scattering length for He-CO2 collisions demonstrate that the efficiency of rotational quenching decreases rapidly with increasing rotational excitation j in the ultracold regime. Extrapolating to helium cryogenic temperatures, rotational quenching is predicted to remain inefficient up to ∼1 K, allowing for the possible creation of a beam of translationally cold, rotationally hot molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054701
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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