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Proceedings Paper

Acceleration, deceleration, and separation of molecular ensembles in optical lattices
Author(s): Mikhail N. Shneider; P. F. Barker
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Paper Abstract

Analysis of the trapped and untrapped motion of particles, combined with direct numerical simulation of the 1D non-stationary Boltzmann equation, demonstrates that atoms and molecules initially at room temperature can be accelerated to velocities in the 10 to 100 km/s range over distances of 100's microns using an optical lattice. The quantity, final velocity, and velocity/energy spread of the accelerated distribution controlled by tailoring the fluence, duration and frequency chirp of the laser beam that make the lattice, indicating the potential for a compact, versatile, and configurable hyper-thermal accelerator/decelerator. Using similar lattice potentials, differential transport of atomic and molecular species with different polarizability/mass ratios leads towards the possibility of gas mixture separation in short pulses or in hollow fibers. A bulk drift can be induced in a gas by the lattice forces, even when the mean kinetic energy is much greater that the maximum dipole potential of the optical field. In this process the transfer of energy from the slowly traveling optical lattice to the gas is analogous to Landau damping of a plasma wave by charged particles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2004
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 5448, High-Power Laser Ablation V, (20 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548827
Show Author Affiliations
Mikhail N. Shneider, Princeton Univ. (United States)
P. F. Barker, Heriott-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5448:
High-Power Laser Ablation V
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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