SEARCH FOR COLD Rb2 MOLECULES IN A RUBIDIUM MAGNETO-OPTICAL TRAP C. Gabbanini*, A. Fioretti+, S. Gozzini*, and A. Lucchesini* * Istituto di Fisica Atomica e Molecolare del CNR, via del Giardino 7, 56126, Pisa, ITALY + Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia, Dip. di Fisica, Piazza Torricelli 2, 56126, Pisa, ITALY We are performing a search for cold Rb2 molecules, to be produced through photoassociation of laser-cooled rubidium atoms in a magneto-optical trap. Excited Rb2 molecules in different rovibrational states can be resonantly produced by c.w. laser excitation of two free cold atoms. In certain conditions, the excited molecules can decay into stable, translationally cold, ground-state dimers. Those molecules should be selectively detected by photoionizing them into Rb2+ ions, through appropriate multi-photon schemes.