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Long rotational coherence times of molecules in a magnetic trap.

Caldwell, L. and Williams, H. J. and Fitch, N. J. and Aldegunde, J. and Hutson, J. M. and Sauer, B. E. and Tarbutt, M. R. (2020) 'Long rotational coherence times of molecules in a magnetic trap.', Physical Review Letters, 124 (6). 063001.


Polar molecules in superpositions of rotational states exhibit long-range dipolar interactions, but maintaining their coherence in a trapped sample is a challenge. We present calculations that show many laser-coolable molecules have convenient rotational transitions that are exceptionally insensitive to magnetic fields. We verify this experimentally for CaF where we find a transition with sensitivity below 5 Hz G−1 and use it to demonstrate a rotational coherence time of 6.4(8) ms in a magnetic trap. Simulations suggest it is feasible to extend this to more than 1 s using a smaller cloud in a biased magnetic trap.

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Publisher statement:Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.
Date accepted:17 December 2019
Date deposited:13 February 2020
Date of first online publication:10 February 2020
Date first made open access:13 February 2020

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