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Electrostatic Deflection of a Molecular Beam of Massive Neutral Particles: Fully Field-Oriented Polar Molecules within Superfluid Nanodroplets

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2016 by Daniel J. Merthe, Vitaly V. Kresin
Electric deflection measurements on liquid helium nanodroplets doped with individual polar molecules demonstrate that the cold superfluid matrix enables full orientation of the molecular dipole along the external field. This translates into a deflection force that is increased enormously by comparison with typical deflection experiments, and it becomes possible to measurably deflect neutral doped droplets with masses of tens to hundreds of thousands of Daltons. By using continuous fluxes of fully oriented polar molecules and measuring the deflection of the doped nanodroplet beam, this approach makes it possible to directly determine the dipole moments of internally cryogenically cold molecules. The technique is broadly and generally applicable, including to complex and biological molecules.