Events at Physics
The recent experimental advances in direct laser cooling of diatomic molecules and triatomic molecules clearly indicates that full extension of laser tools - the creation of a magneto-optical trap (MOT) plus sub-Doppler cooling - to triatomic species should be possible. Recently in our laboratory we achieved a magneto-optical trap of diatomic molecules with CaF, sub-Doppler cooling to 40 µK, and loading of these molecules into an optical dipole trap. We also accomplished the first laser cooling and bichromatic force deflection of a polyatomic molecule, using SrOH. In addition, in 2016 we proposed the laser cooling of more complex polyatomic molecules using the methods we have now demonstrated. In particular, symmetric top molecules like CaOCH3 (and, possibly, related asymmetric top molecules) look extremely promising for direct laser cooling. The experimental prospects for a MOT of CaOH, YbOH, and CaOCH3 will be discussed.