Ultracold molecules have been proposed as a candidate platform for quantum science and precision measurement because of their rich internal structures and interactions. Direct laser-cooling promises to be a rapid and efficient way to bring molecules to ultracold temperatures. However, for trapped molecules, laser-cooling to the quantum motional ground state remains an outstanding challenge. A technique capable of reaching the motional ground state is Raman sideband cooling, first demonstrated in trapped ions and atoms. Here we demonstrate Raman sideband cooling of CaF molecules trapped in an optical tweezer array. Our protocol does not rely on high magnetic fields and preserves the purity of molecular internal states. We measure a high ground-state fraction and achieve low motional entropy per particle. The low temperatures we obtain could enable longer coherence times and higher-fidelity molecular qubit gates, desirable for quantum information processing and quantum simulation. With further improvements, Raman sideband cooling will also provide a route to quantum degeneracy of large molecular samples, which could be extendable to polyatomic molecular species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy