Optical setup for laser stabilisation of 556 nm laser cooling transition of Yb
Foreground: 399 nm “Zeeman Slowing” laser setup. Background: Science chamber and optical setup for creation of CsYb molecules
Vacuum Chamber. The molecules we use cannot exist in air and so we have to make them inside a vacuum chamber. The laser light enters through windows, the green/red enters from the front (molecules are traveling out of the picture as we see it) and the orange/red light enters from above and is reflected using mirrors to pass through the chamber 6 times, covering the vertical and horizontal axes.
Science chamber viewport
Some of the optics required to make the light just right to address the complicated structure of the molecules.
Waveplates and mirrors for retroreflecting the Yb and Cs MOT beams
Laser cooling of molecules requires a variety of wavelengths of light. The light exerts a force on the molecules which can be used to decelerate and trap them. For calcium fluoride molecules we need to use green, red and orange light. The green and red slow the molecules and the orange and red trap them.
Yb MOT inside Science chamber. Around 2 x 108 Yb atoms at 200 uK
Science chamber illuminated by 556 nm light used for creation of Yb MOT. Inside the chamber Cs and Yb atoms are slowed, trapped and cooled before being associated into ultracold CsYb molecules.
Time lapse video showing the construction of the CsYb experiment