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Ultracold molecular hydrogen (D2+) is produced by sympathetic cooling in a linear Paul trap. With this method the translational degrees of freedom of the molecules are cooled by Coulomb interaction with laser-cooled 9Be+. This work shows that sympathetic cooling and crystallization is possible down to mass ratios of 0.45. Using molecular dynamics simulations, the mass range for sympathetic cooliing is predicted. By employin a light and a heavy species of laser-cooled ions (9Be+ and e.g. 137Ba+) the mass range from 2 to 20 000 amu, i.e. from the simplest molecule to complex proteins, can be sympathetically cooled.
Quantum Electronics Conference, 2003. EQEC '03. European
Date of Conference: 22-27 June 2003