Date of Completion


Embargo Period



photoassociation, trilobite-like Rydberg molecules, rubidium, ultracold diatomic molecules, triplet states

Major Advisor

William C. Stwalley

Associate Advisor

Edward E. Eyler

Associate Advisor

Winthrop W. Smith

Field of Study


Open Access

Open Access


I demonstrate the formation of rubidium dimers via photoassociation and spontaneous emission at short internuclear distances. This short-range photoassociation allows the formation of deeply bound molecules, including, for instance, the lowest rovibrational level of the lowest triplet state: a(0,0). This particular state is interesting because it is metastable against radiative decay, and possibly long-lived in optical and/or magnetic traps. In a second experiment, I demonstrate the population of trilobite-like excited states of Rb2. Trilobite-like states are bound by an unusual chemical bond, and can have large physical dimensions and electric dipole moments. I demonstrate the population of these states through the ultraviolet excitation of weakly bound molecules. By using the same ultraviolet excitation scheme, I place a new upper-bound on the minimum energy required to ionize 85Rb2 molecules.