Abstract

A new experimental setup for the production and the spectroscopic observation of unstable molecules is described. The species are created in a 3-m-long plasma reactor, which permits rf excitation of a large volume of flowing gas. Two complementary spectrometers, a high-resolution diode-laser spectrometer and Fourier-transform spectrometer, are optically coupled to the multipass system located inside the reactor. They may work simultaneously. Actual infrared spectra of the radicals SiH and NH and their comparison with the best available laser results are presented to illustrate the capabilities of the device. Observations of highly excited levels of stable molecules are also possible. This is demonstrated by SiH4, N2, HCN, and CO spectra and by the observation of lines due to molecular-hydrogen Rydberg transitions between high-l states of the Rydberg electron.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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