Feshbach-resonant Raman photoassociation in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Matt Mackie, Pierre Phou, Heather Boyce, Mannix Shinn, and Lev Katz. Phys. Rev. A 84, 043614 (2011).

  • We model the formation of stable heteronuclear molecules via pulsed Raman photoassociation of a two-component Bose-Einstein condensate near a strong Feshbach resonance, for both counterintuitive and intuitive pulse sequencing. Compared to lasers alone, weak Raman photoassociation is enhanced by as much as a factor of ten (five) for a counterintuitive (intuitive) pulse sequence, whereas strong Raman photoassociation is barely enhanced at all—regardless of pulse sequence. Stronger intra-atom, molecule, or atom-molecule collisions lead to an expected decrease in conversion efficiency, but stronger ambient inter-atom collisions lead to an unexpected increase in the efficiency of stable molecule production. Numerical results agree reasonably with an analytical approximation.

Many-body rate limit on photoassociation of a Bose-Einstein condensate. Matt Mackie, Pierre Phou. Phys. Rev. A 82, 035602 (2010).

  • We briefly report on zero-temperature photoassociation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, focusing on the many-body rate limit for atom-molecule conversion. An upgraded model that explicitly includes spontaneous radiative decay leads to an unanticipated shift in the position of the photoassociation resonance, which affects whether the rate (constant) maximizes or saturates, as well as the limiting value itself. A simple analytical model agrees with numerical experiments, but only for high density. Finally, an explicit comparison with the two-body unitary limit, set by the size of the condensate, finds that the many-body rate limit is generally more strict.

Creating a quantum degenerate gas of stable molecules via weak photoassociation. Matt Mackie, Pierre Phou. Phys. Rev. A 82, 011609 (2010) .

  • Quantum degenerate molecules represent a new paradigm for fundamental studies and practical applications. Association of already quantum degenerate atoms into molecules provides a crucial shortcut around the difficulty of cooling molecules to ultracold temperatures. Whereas association can be induced with either laser or magnetic fields, photoassociation requires impractical laser intensity to overcome poor overlap between the atom pair and molecular wave functions, and experiments are currently restricted to magnetoassociation. Here we model realistic production of a quantum degenerate gas of stable molecules via two-photon photoassociation of Bose-condensed atoms. An adiabatic change of the laser frequency converts the initial atomic condensate almost entirely into stable molecular condensate, even for low-intensity lasers. Results for dipolar LiNa provide an upper bound on the necessary photoassociation laser intensity for alkali-metal atoms ~30 W/cm2, indicating a feasible path to quantum degenerate molecules beyond magnetoassociation.

Stable Quantum Degenerate Models via Weak Photoassociation. Pierre Phou and Matt Mackie. Poster. 2010.

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