M. A. BELLOS, R. CAROLLO, J. BANERJEE, E. E. EYLER, P. L. GOULD, W. C. STWALLEY, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3046.
A class of long-range Rydberg molecules, sometimes called ``trilobite states", occurs when a ground-state atom is embedded in the electronic cloud of a Rydberg atom. The bond between the Rydberg atom and the ground-state atom originates from the low-energy scattering of the Rydberg electron from the ground-state atom. We produce trilobite-like states of ultracold Rb2 at low principal quantum numbers and at internuclear separations less than 40 bohr. We populate these states through single-photon ultraviolet transitions starting from molecules in high-lying vibrational levels of the lowest triplet state. This demonstrates that long-range Rydberg molecules can also be excited through bound-bound transitions, in addition to previous studies that used free-bound transitions. We also discuss the advantages of a bound-bound pathway.