Direct observation of giant molecules

3 Jun 2019

Physicists at LMU and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) achieved to form giant diatomic molecules and optically detect them afterwards by using a high-resolution objective.

The tiny size of conventional diatomic molecules in the sub-nanometer regime hinders direct optical resolution of their constituents. Physicists from LMU and the Quantum Many Body Division at MPQ led by Prof. Immanuel Bloch were able to bind pairs of highly excited atoms at a distance of one micrometer. The huge bond length — comparable to small biological cells like the E. coli bacteria — allows a microscopic study of the underlying binding structure by directly optically resolving both bound atoms. (Science 2019)

For more information, see : MPQ’s press release: Publication in Science: Quantum gas microscopy of Rydberg macrodimers-