Orientation-dependent hyperfine structure of polar molecules in a rare-gas matrix: A scheme for measuring the electron electric dipole moment
Because molecules can have their orientation locked when embedded into a solid rare-gas matrix, their hyperfine structure is strongly perturbed relative to the freely rotating molecule. The addition of an electric field further perturbs the structure, and we have found an interesting effect: the Stark shift of the hyperfine states in these molecules depends on the molecular orientation. These shifts enable the selective detection of molecules with different orientations relative to the axes of a rare-gas crystal, which will be an important ingredient of an improved electron electric dipole moment measurement using large ensembles of polar molecules trapped in rare-gas matrices. We outline an experimental procedure exploiting the orientation-dependent detection, which could be used for a significantly improved measurement of the electron electric dipole moment.