What Do We Do?
We leverage the laws of quantum mechanics to control molecules using cryogenics and lasers.
Why Is This Important?
To advance understanding of complex quantum systems and ultracold chemistry.
Welcome to the McCarron Group at the University of Connecticut.
Our group’s research focuses on experimental studies in quantum science and atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics. The emphasis is on methods to directly produce and probe molecules at ultracold temperatures (< 0.001 K) using cryogenics and laser-cooling and trapping techniques. These low temperatures enable exquisite control and expose the quantum nature of molecular interactions to careful study.
This research develops new techniques applicable to molecular species with favorable properties to advance our understanding of strongly interacting quantum systems and ultracold organic chemistry. Our work will help to establish ultracold molecules as an improved resource for quantum science, precision measurements and new emerging quantum technologies.
We can now detect cold AlCl molecules using our UV laser to excite the X-A transition at 261.5 nm. Inside the source, we measure a peak optical depth > 4 and produce a beam of AlCl molecules containing ~4 x10^(11) molecules/steradian/pulse in the rovibrational ground state.
We're very grateful to the Hemmerling Lab at UC Riverside for sharing their experience producing AlCl via laser ablation.
Our next steps are to fully characterize the molecular beam and perform spectroscopy relevant to optical cycling in this species.
Phase 2 of our homebuilt UV laser system is nearing completion. We currently produce up to 1.8 W of laser light at 261 nm from our second bowtie cavity. This is a serious amount of continuous UV power!
Our focus on this experiment will soon shift to use this light to detect cold AlCl molecules from our cryogenic source.