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Collisions in a dual-species magneto-optical trap of molecules and atoms

Jurgilas, S. and Chakraborty, A. and Rich, C. J. H. and Sauer, B. E. and Frye, Matthew D. and Hutson, Jeremy M. and Tarbutt, M R (2021) 'Collisions in a dual-species magneto-optical trap of molecules and atoms.', New Journal of Physics, 23 (7).


We study inelastic collisions between CaF molecules and 87Rb atoms in a dual-species magneto-optical trap. The presence of atoms increases the loss rate of molecules from the trap. By measuring the loss rates and density distributions, we determine a collisional loss rate coefficient k2 = (1.43 ± 0.29) × 10−10 cm3 s−1 at a temperature of 2.4 mK. We show that this is not substantially changed by light-induced collisions or by varying the populations of excited-state atoms and molecules. The observed loss rate is close to the universal rate expected in the presence of fast loss at short range, and can be explained by rotation-changing collisions in the ground electronic state.

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Publisher statement:Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Date accepted:18 June 2021
Date deposited:26 November 2021
Date of first online publication:08 July 2021
Date first made open access:26 November 2021

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