Molecule Optical Polarization Laboratory
The Molecule Optical Polarization Laboratory, or MOLPOL lab at the Laser Centre focuses on the following fundamental and application targeted research areas:
• high resolution spectra, structure and dynamics of diatomic molecules;
• coherent processes and quantum interference in diatomic molecules and atoms;
• long-range potentials of atom pairs and prospects for cold molecule formation;
• experimental study of atomic hyperfine structure;
• electric field mapping by optical methods;
• novel gas-phase materials for optoelectronics and photonics.
Scope. The laboratory possesses a Fourier transform spectrometer ISF-125 Bruker Optik GmbH, being unique in the region, with highest spectral resolution 0.01 - 0.006cm-1 operational, besides the absorption mode, in the emission with increased sensitivity. Combination with other spectral arrangements, single mode dye lasers and tunable diode lasers, facilities for producing alkali vapor, controlled electric and magnetic field and time-resolved detection provides all necessary equipment for a broad variety of most advanced experimental studies in the area. Basing on that, MOLPOL lab is involved in frontier research on obtaining highly accurate experiment based potential energy curves of ground and selected excited states of alkali diatomic molecules being of most acute interest for producing cold and ultracold species. Specifically, a systematic research provided first data on the ground state of the KCs molecule, a riddle of fully mixed singlet-triplet complex was resolved for NaRb and is in the way for NaCs and KCs, application of external electric and magnetic fields and time-resolved detection yielded unique data on dynamic parameters. A unique facility is developed for non-contact optical detection of electric field potential allowing testing of contact quality of open surfaces by detecting laser induced fluorescence.
Some of the expertise is summarised in monograph M. Auzinsh, R. Ferber, Optical Polarization of Molecules (Cambridge UP, 1995 and 2005) and 17 papers in 2005-2007 in Phys. Rev. Lett., Phys. Rev. A, J. Chem. Phys., J. Phys. B, etc.
Staff. MOLPOL lab includes PI, six staff scientists, visiting scientists and students.
Projects. NATO Science for Peace "Optical Field Mapping" (2002-2007), EC Structural Funds, Latvian National Research Programme and Latvian Science Council grants, etc.
International cooperation. collaborative research, exchange of visiting scientists and students with a number of leading labs and experts in the field, such as W. Stwalley team at University of Connecticut, E. Tiemann's lab in Hannover University, A. Stolyarov group in Moscow State University and many others.