We present a method to design a finite decay rate for excited rotational states in polar molecules. The setup is based on a hybrid system of polar molecules with atoms driven into a Rydberg state. The atoms and molecules are coupled via the strong dipolar exchange interaction between two rotation levels of the polar molecule and two Rydberg states. Such a controllable decay rate opens the way to optically pump the hyperfine levels of polar molecules and it enables the application of conventional laser cooling techniques for cooling polar molecules into quantum degeneracy.
- Received 2 December 2011
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