|Title||Chemical reactions of ultracold alkali-metal dimers in the lowest-energy (3)Sigma state|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Tomza, M, Madison, KW, Moszynski, R, Krems, RV|
|Journal||PHYSICAL REVIEW A|
|Date Published||NOV 21|
We show that the interaction of polar alkali-metal dimers in the quintet spin state leads to the formation of a deeply bound reaction complex. The reaction complex can decompose adiabatically into homonuclear alkali-metal dimers (for all molecules except KRb) and into alkali-metal trimers (for all molecules). We show that there are no barriers for these chemical reactions. This means that all alkali-metal dimers in the a(3)Sigma(+) state are chemically unstable at ultracold temperature, and the use of an optical lattice to segregate the molecules and suppress losses may be necessary. In addition, we calculate the minimum-energy path for the chemical reactions of alkali-metal hydrides. We find that the reaction of two molecules is accelerated by a strong attraction between the alkali-metal atoms, leading to a barrierless process that produces hydrogen atoms with large kinetic energy. We discuss the unique features of the chemical reactions of ultracold alkali-metal dimers in the a(3)Sigma(+) electronic state.