Prospects for ultracold carbon via charge exchange reactions and laser cooled carbides

Nathan Wells, Ian C. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Strategies to produce an ultracold sample of carbon atoms are explored and assessed with the help of quantum chemistry. After a brief discussion of the experimental difficulties using conventional methods, two strategies are investigated. The first attempts to exploit charge exchange reactions between ultracold metal atoms and sympathetically cooled C+ ions. Ab initio calculations including electron correlation have been conducted on the molecular ions [LiC]+ and [BeC]+ to determine whether alkali or alkaline earth metals are a suitable buffer gas for the formation of C atoms but strong spontaneous radiative charge exchange ensure they are not ideal. The second technique involves the stimulated production of ultracold C atoms from a gas of laser cooled carbides. Calculations on LiC suggest that the alkali carbides are not suitable but the CH radical is a possible laser cooling candidate thanks to very favourable Frank-Condon factors. A scheme based on a four pulse STIRAP excitation pathway to a Feshbach resonance is outlined for the production of atomic fragments with near zero centre of mass velocity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19036-19051
Number of pages16
Journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number42
Early online date05 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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