Mentors: Prof. Elizabeth McCormack and Dr. Aaron Marks
Triplet states of molecular hydrogen are less frequently studied that singlet states due to the difficulty in creating them by photo-absorption from the singlet ground state. Alternatively, excitation via collisions with electrons can be used.
In the work reported here, the metastable triplet c state is created via collisions between ground state hydrogen moleculesand electrons emitted by a filament by using a new pulsed molecular beam source. The metastable c state is detected by resonant photo-ionization through the d states. The collection of ions is performed using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The results demonstrate the use of th emetastable c state as a gateway to populate highly excited ro-vibrational triplet states in molecular hydrogen.