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Keywords:

  • evaporative cooling;
  • lasers;
  • polarizability;
  • vacuum traps

An alternative to matrix isolation, cold molecules can be trapped and aligned in vacuum by an intense infrared laser field according to theoretical considerations expounded recently. The method is based on the polarization of the molecules by the electric field of the light, which creates an attractive potential. If the polarizability of the molecules is anisotropic, the axis of highest polarizability will be aligned along the polarization direction of the laser.