Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Physics

First Adviser

Huennekens, John

Other advisers/committee members

Hickman, A. Peet; Stavola, Michael; Biaggio, Ivan; Roberts, James

Abstract

This dissertation describes methods and results of spectroscopic studies of the NaCs molecule. NaCs is of particular interest in many labs where experimental studies of ultra-cold molecules are being conducted. Data obtained in the present work will also be useful as benchmarks for various theoretical calculations. Our goals in studying this molecule were to map out high lying electronic states and to understand how these states interact with one another. Sodium and cesium metal were heated in a heat-pipe oven to form a vapor of NaCs molecules. These molecules were excited using narrow band, continuous wave (cw), tunable lasers. We employed the optical-optical double resonance (OODR) technique to obtain Doppler-free spectra of transitions to rotational and vibrational levels of high lying electronic states. One state of particular interest was the 12(0+) electronic state. Rovibrational level energies corresponding to this state were measured and used to generate a potential energy curve using computer programs to implement both the Rydberg-Klein-Rees (RKR) method and the inverted perturbation approach (IPA). By observing fluorescence from the 12(0+) state resolved as a function of wavelength, we determined that this state interacts with the nearby 11(0+) electronic state, which was previously mapped out by Ashman et al. A two-stage coupling model was devised to describe the resolved fluorescence originating from these two interacting states. The electronic states interact via spin-orbit coupling, while the individual rovibrational levels interact via a second mechanism, likely nonadiabatic coupling. This two-stage coupling between the levels of these states causes quantum interference between fluorescence pathways associated with different components of the wavefunctions describing these levels. This interference results in more complicated resolved fluorescence spectra. The model was used to fit parameters describing these interactions so that the resolved fluorescence spectra could be reproduced. The NaCs 43 π electronic state was also studied in this work. Energies of many rovibrational levels belonging to the 43 π electronic state were measured. This state is interesting because it likely has a potential energy curve with a double minimum, which results in a different type of quantum interference, directly observed in resolved spectra. The state also very likely has interactions with the 11(0+) and 12(0+) states. Energies of many rovibrational levels lying above the energy of the barrier between the two minima were measured, and it appears that we also observed a few levels lying below the barrier. Since the laser wavelengths necessary to excite the lowest vibrational levels were not available, an experimental potential curve could not be produced. Therefore, rovibrational level energies and spectroscopic constants are tabulated.

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