Nondestructive dispersive imaging of rotationally excited ultracold molecules

Qingze Guan, Michael Highman, Eric J. Meier, Garrett R. Williams, Vito Scarola, Brian Demarco, Svetlana Kotochigova, Bryce Gadway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A barrier to realizing the potential of molecules for quantum information science applications is a lack of high-fidelity, single-molecule imaging techniques. Here, we present and theoretically analyze a general scheme for dispersive imaging of electronic ground-state molecules. Our technique relies on the intrinsic anisotropy of excited molecular rotational states to generate optical birefringence, which can be detected through polarization rotation of an off-resonant probe laser beam. Using 23Na87Rb and 87Rb133Cs as examples, we construct a formalism for choosing the molecular state to be imaged and the excited electronic states involved in off-resonant coupling. Our proposal establishes the relevant parameters for achieving degree-level polarization rotations for bulk molecular gases, thus enabling high-fidelity nondestructive imaging. We additionally outline requirements for the high-fidelity imaging of individually trapped molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20531-20544
Number of pages14
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 28 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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