Synthesis of mixed hypermetallic oxide BaOCa+ from laser-cooled reagents in an atom-ion hybrid trap
Hypermetallic alkaline earth (M) oxides of formula MOM have been studied under plasma conditions that preclude insight into their formation mechanism. We present here the application of emerging techniques in ultracold physics to the synthesis of a mixed hypermetallic oxide, BaOCa+. These methods, augmented by high-level electronic structure calculations, permit detailed investigation of the bonding and structure as well as the mechanism of its formation via the barrierless reaction of Ca (3PJ) with BaOCH3+. Further investigations of the reaction kinetics as a function of collision energy over the range 0.005 kelvin (K) to 30 K and of individual Ca fine-structure levels compare favorably with calculations based on long-range capture theory.