A supersonic laser ablation beam source with narrow velocity spreads

P. Aggarwal, H. L. Bethlem, A. Boeschoten, A. Borschevsky, K. Esajas, Y. Hao, S. Hoekstra*, K. Jungmann, V. R. Marshall, T. B. Meijknecht, M. C. Mooij, R. G.E. Timmermans, A. Touwen, W. Ubachs, L. Willmann, Y. Yin, A. Zapara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A supersonic beam source for SrF and BaF molecules is constructed by combining the expansion of carrier gas (a mixture of 2% SF6 and 98% argon) from an Even-Lavie valve with laser ablation of a barium/strontium metal target at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. Molecular beams with a narrow translational velocity spread are produced at relative values of Δv/v = 0.053(11) and 0.054(9) for SrF and BaF, respectively. The relative velocity spread of the beams produced in our source is lower in comparison with the results from other metal fluoride beams produced in supersonic laser ablation sources. The rotational temperature of BaF is measured to be 3.5 K. The source produces 6 × 108 and 107 molecules per steradian per pulse in the X2ς+ (ν = 0, N = 1) state of BaF and SrF molecules, respectively, a state amenable to Stark deceleration and laser cooling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033202
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number3
Early online date3 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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