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Evolution from a Molecular Rydberg Gas to an Ultracold Plasma in a Seeded Supersonic Expansion of NO

TitleEvolution from a Molecular Rydberg Gas to an Ultracold Plasma in a Seeded Supersonic Expansion of NO
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMorrison, JP, Rennick, CJ, Keller, JS, Grant, ER
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume101
Pagination4
Date PublishedNov
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0031-9007
Abstract

We report the spontaneous formation of a plasma from a gas of cold Rydberg molecules. Double-resonant laser excitation promotes nitric oxide, cooled to 1 K in a seeded supersonic molecular beam, to single Rydberg states extending as deep as 80 cm(-1) below the lowest ionization threshold. The density of excited molecules in the illuminated volume approaches 1x10(13) cm(-3). This population evolves to produce free electrons and a durable cold plasma of electrons and intact NO+ ions.

URL<Go to ISI>://000260936100033