An inhomogeneous electric field is used to study the deflection of a supersonic beam of water molecules. The deflection profiles show strong broadening accompanied by a small net displacement towards higher electric fields. The profiles are in excellent agreement with a calculation of rotational Stark shifts. The molecular rotational temperature being the only adjustable parameter, beam deflection is found to offer an accurate and practical means of determining this quantity. A pair of especially strongly responding rotational sublevels, adding up to ≈25% of the total beam intensity, are readily separated by deflection, making them potentially useful for further electrostatic manipulation. © 2007 The American Physical Society.
|Journal||Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|