Electric trapping of slow polar molecules 
 Pepijn Pinkse
Max-Planck Institut f. Quantenoptik, Garching
 

Success in the field of cold molecules depends on the ability to
make beams of slow molecules, and to cool and trap these. We have
demonstrated a novel method to create a slow molecular beam from
an effusive source of polar molecules (ND3, H2CO or D2O).
Molecules from a room-temperature effusive source are injected
into a bent electrostatic quadrupole guide, which acts as a
velocity filter for molecules in low-field-seeking Stark states.
These molecules are transported into another chamber, where they
can be handled in an ultrahigh vacuum. Here, we have successfully
built a large volume electrostatic trap that is filled
continuously from the guide. Molecules with velocities smaller
than about 20 m/s are trapped with a motional temperature of about
0.3 K. The findings should find applications in cold chemistry, which is,
apart from its fundamental interest, for instance of interest for astrophysics.