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Cool pulsed molecular microbeam

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5 Author(s)
Zhao, Bum Suk ; Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 ; Castillejo, Marta ; Doo Soo Chung ; Friedrich, Bretislav
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We produce a cool pulsed supersonic molecular beam of CaF radicals essentially without recourse to pumping. The radicals are generated by laser ablating a solid precursor target in a small ablation cell of volume of about 0.01 cm3. The target is ablated through a 750 μm orifice by a pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The ablation plume supersonically expands into a vacuum chamber and cools the initially hot CaF molecules seeded in it. We enhance the supersonic character of the expansion by feeding into the ablation cell about 10 Torr of He, Ar, or Xe carrier gas. The CaF molecules are probed by time-dependent laser absorption spectroscopy. With a Xe carrier, about 1012 CaF molecules are found to be seeded in a single pulse and cooled down to a terminal translational temperature of about 140 K. We expect that a wide variety of species, including highly unstable ones, will be amenable to forming such a cool intense molecular microbeam, to the benefit of spectroscopy, reaction dynamics, and microfabrication. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 1 )