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Operation of a Stark decelerator with optimum acceptance

MPS-Authors
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Scharfenberg,  Ludwig
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Haak,  Henrik
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Meijer,  Gerard
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Meerakker,  Sebastiaan Y. T. van de
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Scharfenberg, L., Haak, H., Meijer, G., & Meerakker, S. Y. T. v. d. (2009). Operation of a Stark decelerator with optimum acceptance. Physical Review A, 79(2), 023410-1-023410-11. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.79.023410.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-FA0F-9
Abstract
With a Stark decelerator, beams of neutral polar molecules can be accelerated, guided at a constant velocity, or decelerated. The effectiveness of this process is determined by the six-dimensional (6D) volume in phase space from which molecules are accepted by the Stark decelerator. Couplings between the longitudinal and transverse motion of the molecules in the decelerator can reduce this acceptance. These couplings are nearly absent when the decelerator operates such that only every third electric-field stage is used for deceleration, while extra transverse focusing is provided by the intermediate stages. For many applications, the acceptance of a Stark decelerator in this so-called s=3 mode significantly exceeds that of a decelerator in the conventionally used (s=1) mode. This has been experimentally verified by passing a beam of OH radicals through a 2.6-m-long Stark decelerator. The experiments are in quantitative agreement with the results of trajectory calculations, and can qualitatively be explained with a simple model for the 6D acceptance. These results imply that the 6D acceptance of a Stark decelerator in the s=3 mode of operation approaches the optimum value, i.e., the value that is obtained when any couplings are neglected.