Rovibrational quantum state resolution of the C60 fullerene

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Abstract
The unique physical properties of buckminsterfullerene, C<sub>60</sub>, have attracted intense research activity since its original discovery. Total quantum state\textendashresolved spectroscopy of isolated C<sub>60</sub>\&nbsp;molecules has been of particularly long-standing interest. Such observations have, to date, been unsuccessful owing to the difficulty in preparing cold, gas-phase C<sub>60</sub>\&nbsp;in sufficiently high densities. Here we report high-resolution infrared absorption spectroscopy of C<sub>60</sub>\&nbsp;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\textendashresolved 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\textquoterights rare icosahedral symmetry.
Year of Publication
2019
Journal
Science
Volume
363
Number of Pages
49-54
Date Published
2019-01
ISSN Number
0036-8075
URL
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6422/49
DOI
10.1126/science.aav2616
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