Quantum gas microscopy of Rydberg macrodimers
Science, Vol. 364, Issue 6441
Typically, direct optical access to molecular constituents is out of reach due to their tiny size in the sub-nanometer regime.
Because highly-excited Rydberg atoms feature strong interactions even at distances of micrometers, two Rydberg atoms can form huge molecules, comparable to the size of small bacteria and larger than optical wavelengths.
Here, we studied these exotic molecules by exciting atom pairs in an initially prepared unity filled two-dimensional atom array and spectroscopically resolved the vibrational structure for the first time.
Using a high-resolution objective, we microscopically
detected the excited molecules by correlated atom loss. Furthermore, we find a striking alignment of the photoassociated molecules, which can be controlled by the polarization of the excitation light and the specific molecular state.
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