A pump–probe study of the photoassociation of cold rubidium molecules
The dynamics of the excited state during the photoassociation of cold molecules from cold rubidium atoms is studied in a series of pump–probe experiments. Dipole transitions similar to those of the atoms are observed in the molecular signal. While such behaviour is characteristic of the long-range molecules, the photoassociation of bound molecules is confirmed in additional experiments. The pump–probe signal observed on a 250 ps time scale did not, however, reveal wavepacket oscillations predicted by theory. This result is discussed using numerical simulations of photoassociation and a modification to the current experiments that could lead to the detection of wavepacket dynamics is suggested.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Cold and Ultracold Molecules