We present a method to measure rotational transitions of molecular anions in the terahertz domain by sequential two-photon absorption. Ion excitation by bound-bound terahertz absorption is probed by absorption in the visible on a bound-free transition. The visible frequency is tuned to a state-selective photodetachment transition of the excited anions. This provides a terahertz action spectrum for just few hundred molecular ions. To demonstrate this we measure the two lowest rotational transitions, J=1<-0 and J =2<-1 of OD- anions in a cryogenic 22-pole trap. We obtain rotational transition frequencies of 598596.08(19) MHz for J=1<-0 and 1196791.57(27) MHz for J=2<-1 of OD-, in good agreement with their only previous measurement. This two-photon scheme opens up terahertz rovibrational spectroscopy for a range of molecular anions, in particular for polyatomic and cluster anions.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Abstract-Terahertz-visible two-photon rotational spectroscopy of cold OD-
(Submitted on 26 Feb 2016)