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Structure and dynamics of cold molecular ions : formation and destruction processes (Humberto DA SILVA JUNIOR)

par HANS LIGNIER - publié le , mis à jour le

Soutenance de thèse au LAC le lundi 10 juillet 2017 à 14h30



  • Lundi 10 juillet 14:30-17:00 - Humberto DA SILVA JUNIOR - LAC

    Structure and dynamics of cold molecular ions : formation and destruction processes

    Résumé : The work sheds light on the mechanisms, and their efficiency, for (i) formation, (ii) destruction and (iii) internal cooling of cold molecular ions by inelastic ultracold collisions, such as those studied in hybrid setups merging an ultracold atom trap and a laser-cooled ion trap. We have carried out a systematic and consistent analysis of light assisted binary collisions of many relevant atom/ion pairs using accurate effective core potential based quantum chemistry calculations. Radiative association is predicted to occur for all systems with a cross section two to ten times larger than the competitive channel of radiative charge transfer. Partial and total rate constants are also calculated and compared to available experiments. Narrow shape resonances are expected, which could be detectable at low temperature with an experimental resolution at the limit of the present standards. Vibrational distributions are also calculated, showing that the final molecular ions are not created in their internal ground state level. Once light-assisted formation of molecular ions is probed, we have checked their effective radiative lifetime due to the presence of several lasers in the experiments, which turns out to efficiently photodissociate the created ions. Moreover, besides an extremely slow internal relaxation due to the presence of a permanent electric dipole moment, at reasonably time scales, we have found evidences for the population of molecular levels being strongly influenced by collisions with surrounding ultracold atoms. We have further investigated the internal cooling of both H2+ and Rb2+ (with the respective isotopologues) in collisions with ultracold He and Rb atoms, respectively, due to their relevance for experimental implementations. We have described the calculation of the interaction potentials needed to obtain the coupling potential matrix elements used in a multichannel close coupling formalism. In particular, it is shown that the sum of the He-H2+ state-to-state cross sections (with and without vibrational effects) accounting for the coupling between electronic spin and molecular rotation is dynamically equivalent to directly treating the collision problem of a molecular ion as a structureless spherical rotor interacting with the He atom. The additional difficulties of a close-coupling treatment for an effective internal cooling of sympathetically cold Rb2+ ions in collisions with Rb atoms are discussed along the following lines : (i) the homonuclear nature of the problem, inducing trap losses from reactive collisions ; (ii) the higher density of internal states due to the heaviness of the system ; and, (iii) its long-range neutral-charged interaction. Nevertheless, strong evidence of an efficient internal cooling by inelastic collisions with Rb atoms is found, and may indicate a general trend for all similar heavy species currently found in hybrid trap experiments.

    Lieu : Salle Balmer

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