OPTICS & MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY

                     

 

                             Cavity Enhanced, High-Sensitiviy Frequency-comb Spectroscopy                                        Metal Hydride Zeeman Spectroscopy

Electronic Spectroscopy at Rotational Resolution using LIF and FT Spectroscopy

 

We not only study small, gas phase molecules and radicals by high resolution, electronic spectroscopy, working primarily in the infrared and visible spectral ranges to elucidate chemical bonding, notably of metal containing species, but also develop novel instrumental techniques that promise to greatly improve spectroscopic efficiency .  The experimental techniques we currently employ include laser induced fluorescence, and absorption and emission of non selective sources, all of which are coupled to our high resolution, Fourier transform spectrometer (Bomem DA3).  Soon, we will begin exploiting the Vernier coupling of an optical frequency comb (femtosecond impulse train from a Ti:sa laser) to the multiple resonances of an optical cavity.  This instrumental development promises broad band spectroscopy (> 1000 cm-1) , rapid acqisition time (< 1s), and high resolution (0.03 cm-1).  Our group actively pursues high resolution spectroscopy of alkali dimers and of metal hydrides (see recent publications).

 

The study of alkali dimers by high resolution spectroscopy is motivated by the need to precisely and completely establish the potential curves of these molecules in order to interpret spectra taken during cold atom collisions, in particular to identify the optical transitions that afford the complete transfer of the resulting molecular populations into the first few molecular quantum levels.  Applications of this research include quantum computing and molecular condensation studies.

 

The study of metal hydrides (NiH, FeH) by high resolution spectroscopy is motivated by the need to quantify their magnetic response in order to interpret spectra originating from cool stellar atmospheres such as sunspots and from cool substellar objects such as late-type stars.  From 2009 - 2011, this project was supported by an ANR grant (project : Laser Spectrometer for Stellar Astrophysics) in partnership with the IRAP (Institute of Research in Astrophysics and Planetology) of Toulouse-Tarbes (Frédéric Paletou) and with the THEMIS observatory in the Canary Islands (Aruturo Lopez-Ariste).

 

Our research activities naturally give rise to numerous collaborations, both within France and International.

 

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