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Coherent Optical Creation of a Single Molecule

Yu, Yichao; Wang, Kenneth; Hood, Jonathan D.; Picard, Lewis R. B.; Zhang, Jessie T.; Cairncross, William B.; Hutson, Jeremy M.; Gonzalez-Ferez, Rosario; Rosenband, Till; Ni, Kang-Kuen

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Yichao Yu

Kenneth Wang

Jonathan D. Hood

Lewis R. B. Picard

Jessie T. Zhang

William B. Cairncross

Rosario Gonzalez-Ferez

Till Rosenband

Kang-Kuen Ni


We report coherent association of atoms into a single weakly bound NaCs molecule in an optical tweezer through an optical Raman transition. The Raman technique uses a deeply bound electronic excited intermediate state to achieve a large transition dipole moment while reducing photon scattering. Starting from two atoms in their relative motional ground state, we achieve an optical transfer efficiency of 69%. The molecules have a binding energy of 770.2 MHz at 8.83(2) G. This technique does not rely on Feshbach resonances or narrow excited-state lines and may allow a wide range of molecular species to be assembled atom by atom.


Yu, Y., Wang, K., Hood, J. D., Picard, L. R., Zhang, J. T., Cairncross, W. B., …Ni, K. (2021). Coherent Optical Creation of a Single Molecule. Physical Review X, 11(3), Article 031061.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 12, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 17, 2021
Publication Date 2021-09
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2021
Journal Physical Review X
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 3
Article Number 031061
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Copyright Statement
Advance online version Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

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