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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Optically trapped laser-cooled polar molecules hold promise for new science and technology in quantum information and quantum simulation. Large numerical aperture optical access and long trap lifetimes are needed for many studies, but these requirements are challenging to achieve in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) vacuum chamber that is connected to a cryogenic buffer gas beam source, as is the case for all molecule laser cooling experiments so far. Long distance transport of molecules greatly eases fulfilling these requirements as molecules are placed into a region separate from the MOT chamber. We realize a fast transport method for ultracold molecules based on an electronically focus-tunable lens combined with an optical lattice. The high transport speed is achieved by the 1D red-detuned optical lattice, which is generated by interference of a focus-tunable laser beam and a focus-fixed laser beam. Efficiency of 48(8)% is realized in the transport of ultracold calcium monofluoride (CaF) molecules over 46 cm distance in 50 ms, with a moderate heating from 32(2) μK to 53(4) μK. Positional stability of the molecular cloud allows for stable loading of an optical tweezer array with single molecules.

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  3. Abstract Fully internal and motional state controlled and individually manipulable polar molecules are desirable for many quantum science applications leveraging the rich state space and intrinsic interactions of molecules. While prior efforts at assembling molecules from their constituent atoms individually trapped in optical tweezers achieved such a goal for exactly one molecule (Zhang J T et al 2020 Phys. Rev. Lett. 124 253401; Cairncross W B et al 2021 Phys. Rev. Lett. 126 123402; He X et al 2020 Science 370 331–5), here we extend the technique to an array of five molecules, unlocking the ability to study molecular interactions. We detail the technical challenges and solutions inherent in scaling this system up. With parallel preparation and control of multiple molecules in hand, this platform now serves as a starting point to harness the vast resources and long-range dipolar interactions of molecules. 
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  7. We reduce the intensity noise of laser light by using an electro-optic modulator and acousto-optic modulator in series. The electro-optic modulator reduces noise at high frequency (10 kHz to 1 MHz), while the acousto-optic modulator sets the average power of the light and reduces noise at low frequency (up to 10 kHz). The light is then used to trap single sodium atoms in an optical tweezer, where the lifetime of the atoms is limited by parametric heating due to laser noise at twice the trapping frequency. With our noise eater, the noise is reduced by up to 15 dB at these frequencies and the lifetime of the atom in the optical tweezer is increased by an order of magnitude to around 6 seconds. Our technique is general and acts directly on the laser beam, expanding laser options for sensitive optical trapping applications.

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