Inelastic Scattering of NO by Kr: Rotational Polarization over a Rainbow

H. Chadwick, B. Nichols, S.D.S. Gordon, B. Hornung, E. Squires, M. Brouard, J. Klos, M.H. Alexander, F.J. Aoiz, S. Stolte

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We use molecular beams and ion imaging to determine quantum state resolved angular distributions of NO radicals after inelastic collision with Kr. We also determine both the sense and the plane of rotation (the rotational orientation and alignment, respectively) of the scattered NO. By full selection and then detection of the quantum parity of the NO molecule, our experiment is uniquely sensitive to quantum interference. For forward-scattered NO, we report hitherto unseen changes in the plane and sense of rotation with scattering angle and show, remarkably, that the rotation of the NO molecule after collision can be near-maximally oriented for certain transitions and scattering angles. These effects are enhanced by the full parity selection in the experiment and result from the interplay between attractive and repulsive forces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3296-3301
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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