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Rovibrational quantum state resolution of the C60 fullerene

TitleRovibrational quantum state resolution of the C60 fullerene
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsP. Changala, B, Weichman, ML, Lee, KF, Fermann, ME, Ye, J
Pagination49 - 54
Date Published2019-01
Keywordsbuffer-gas cooling, molecules, spectroscopy

The unique physical properties of buckminsterfullerene, C60, have attracted intense research activity since its original discovery. Total quantum state–resolved spectroscopy of isolated C60 molecules has been of particularly long-standing interest. Such observations have, to date, been unsuccessful owing to the difficulty in preparing cold, gas-phase C60 in sufficiently high densities. Here we report high-resolution infrared absorption spectroscopy of C60 in the 8.5-micron spectral region (1180 to 1190 wave number). A combination of cryogenic buffer-gas cooling and cavity-enhanced direct frequency comb spectroscopy has enabled the observation of quantum state–resolved rovibrational transitions. Characteristic nuclear spin statistical intensity patterns confirm the indistinguishability of the 60 carbon-12 atoms, while rovibrational fine structure encodes further details of the molecule’s rare icosahedral symmetry.


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