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Evolution from a molecular Rydberg gas to an ultracold plasma in a seeded supersonic expansion of NO.

Abstract:
We report the spontaneous formation of a plasma from a gas of cold Rydberg molecules. Double-resonant laser excitation promotes nitric oxide, cooled to 1 K in a seeded supersonic molecular beam, to single Rydberg states extending as deep as 80 cm;{-1} below the lowest ionization threshold. The density of excited molecules in the illuminated volume approaches 1x10;{13} cm;{-3}. This population evolves to produce free electrons and a durable cold plasma of electrons and intact NO+ ions.

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Department:
Oxford, MPLS, Chemistry
Role:
Author
Journal:
Physical review letters
Volume:
101
Issue:
20
Pages:
205005
Publication date:
2008-11-05
DOI:
EISSN:
1079-7114
ISSN:
0031-9007
URN:
uuid:7722da90-abbe-489a-820b-7f37bd9441d6
Source identifiers:
260885
Local pid:
pubs:260885
Language:
English

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