We excite YbF molecules to low-lying vibrational levels of the A 2Π1/2 state, and of the nearby perturber state sometimes called [18.6]0.5. By dispersing the fluorescence, we measure branching ratios for the radiative decay to vibrational levels of the X 2Σ+ state. These ratios help to determine the optimum laser cooling scheme for the molecule. Our results establish the practicality of a scheme that was previously suggested (Tarbutt et al., 2013) and show how the scheme can be modified to provide a stronger radiative cooling force.
- Laser cooling molecules
- Radiative branching ratios
- Ytterbium fluoride (YbF)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry