Welcome to our group!

   Our research is at the interface

of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical

Physics and  Quantum Chemistry.

We study the electronic structure

and the scattering dynamics of 

complex atoms, and small neutral

and ionic molecules in the ultracold

regime.

   Our theoretical approach is based on first-principle elec-tronic-structure calculations combined with a closed-coupling method for the ro-vibrational motion of the molecules. We also use multi-channel quantum defect theories to interpret the results.

   Our group enjoys working with experimentalists. Our quantitative theoretical data on molecular electronic and ro-vibrational properties, conditions for their trapping by lasers, and chemical reactivity is often crucial for the success of on-going experiments. 

Latest Research

 

Novel states of matter with ultracold magnetic lanthanides

 

Ultracold atomic physics is now poised to enter a new regime, where far-more complex atomic species can be cooled and studied.  Magnetic lanthanide atoms with their large magnetic moment and large orbital angular momentum  are extreme examples of such species. In fact, ultracold gases of magnetic lanthanides provide the opportunity to examine strongly correlated matter, creating a platform to explore exotic many-body phases such as quantum ferrofluids, quantum liquid crystals, and supersolids. Experimental advances in trapping and cooling magnetic Dy and Er atoms are paving the way towards these goals.

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Ultracold chemical reactions and conical intersections

 

We explore the reactivity of small alkali-metal and alkaline-earth molecules at cold and ultracold temperatures. The molecules are assumed to be in their lowest ro-vibrational state. The computations involve the determination and analytic fitting of few-dimensional potential energy surfaces (PESs) by solving the Schrodinger equation for the electronic motion with the nuclei held in fixed positions. Such calculations are computationally expensive as the energies of many molecular geometries are needed. The PESs are used in quantum dynamics calculations that determine reaction rates and product distributions.

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Chemical reactivity of hybrid atom-ion systems

 

One of the most exciting areas of research in chemistry is the study of atomic and molecular ions as reactive species. In the past decades most chemistry research was conducted at standard temperatures and pressures. It has only recently become possible to investigate chemical reactions with ions at ultracold temperatures.  We study cold ionic collisions in the context of the control of charge-exchange reactions and the possibility of sympathetic cooling of molecular ions with laser-cooled atoms. These collision rates are expected to have an unique temperature depen-dence.

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