The prospects of sympathetic cooling of NH molecules with Li atoms
Department of Chemistry, Durham University,
South Road, DH1 3 LE Durham, UK
Published online: 17 May 2011
We calculate the quartet potential energy surface for Li+NH and use it to calculate elastic and spin-relaxation cross sections for collisions in magnetically trappable spin-stretched states. The potential is strongly anisotropic but spin-relaxation collisions are still suppressed by centrifugal barriers when both species are in spin-stretched states. In the ultracold regime, both the elastic and inelastic cross sections fluctuate dramatically as the potential is varied because of Feshbach resonances. The potential-dependence is considerably reduced at higher energies. The major effect of using an unconverged basis set in the scattering calculations is to shift the resonances without changing their general behaviour. We have calculated the ratio of elastic and spin-relaxation cross sections, as a function of collision energy and magnetic field, for a variety of potential energy surfaces. Most of the surfaces produce ratios that are favorable for sympathetic cooling, at temperatures below about 20 mK.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2011