Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Ultracold Molecules, KRb, Lasers, Molecular Spectroscopy, Photoassociation, REMPI, Laser Cooling, Polar Molecules

Major Advisor

Prof. William C. Stwalley

Associate Advisor

Prof. Phillip L. Gould

Associate Advisor

Prof. Edward E. Eyler

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Ultracold heteronuclear polar KRb molecules have enjoyed tremendous attention for many years now. The presence of a large molecule fixed dipole moment in the absolute rovibrational ground state (v''=0, J'' =0) makes external control very convenient, which opens up the prospect of studying various physical phenomenon in many areas of physics and chemistry. The methods used so far to produce the absolute ground state of KRb have involved very complicated techniques. Molecules formed in weakly bound levels were transferred to the absolute ground state through the multiple steps of transfer processes involving several lasers with extremely narrow linewidths. My thesis research demonstrates an alternate simpler method of formation of the lowest vibrational levels of the ground state utilizing PA combined with radiative decay, which has been so far useful to form ultracold molecules in the higher vibrational levels of the ground state. This thesis presents two main topics of research. The first part of the thesis consists of results describing the scheme which provides a single-step, continuous, and irreversible method of forming KRb molecules in their absolute ground state. The second topic involves spectroscopy on the two excited electronic states of KRb which may provide alternative pathways for the formation of the absolute ground state (X 1Σ+, (v''=0, J'' =0)) and suitable pathways for efficient formation of the lowest metastable state (a 3Σ+, (v''=0, N'' =0)). I believe this research will lay the foundation for many new exciting experiments in the future.