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Issue 42, 2011
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Rotational-state-specific guiding of large molecules

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A beam of polar molecules can be focused and transported through an ac electric quadrupole guide. At a given ac frequency, the transmission of the guide depends on the mass-to-dipole-moment (m/μ) ratio of the molecular quantum state. Here we present a detailed characterization of the m/μ selector, using a pulsed beam of benzonitrile (C6H5CN) molecules in combination with rotational quantum state resolved detection. The arrival time distribution as well as the transverse velocity distribution of the molecules exiting the selector are measured as a function of ac frequency. The μμ resolution of the selector can be controlled by the applied ac waveforms and a value of up to 20 can be obtained with the present setup. This is sufficient to exclusively transmit benzonitrile molecules in quantum states with the same m/μ value as the absolute ground state. The operation characteristics of the m/μ selector are in quantitative agreement with the outcome of trajectory simulations.

Graphical abstract: Rotational-state-specific guiding of large molecules

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Article information

10 Mar 2011
05 May 2011
First published
31 May 2011

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 18962-18970
Article type

Rotational-state-specific guiding of large molecules

S. Putzke, F. Filsinger, H. Haak, J. Küpper and G. Meijer, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 18962
DOI: 10.1039/C1CP20721K

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