Generation of tunable narrow bandwidth nanosecond pulses in the deep ultraviolet for efficient optical pumping and high resolution spectroscopy

Velarde, Luis; Engelhart, Daniel P.; Matsiev, Daniel; LaRue, Jerry; Auerbach, Daniel J.; Wodtke, Alec M.
June 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Jun2010, Vol. 81 Issue 6, p063106
Academic Journal
Nanosecond optical pulses with high power and spectral brightness in the deep ultraviolet (UV) region have been produced by sum frequency mixing of nearly transform-limited-bandwidth IR light originating from a home-built injection-seeded ring cavity KTiOPO4 optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and the fourth harmonic beam of an injection-seeded Nd:YAG laser used simultaneously to pump the OPO with the second harmonic. We demonstrate UV output, tunable from 204 to 207 nm, which exhibits pulse energies up to 5 mJ with a bandwidth better than 0.01 cm-1. We describe how the approach shown in this paper can be extended to wavelengths shorter than 185 nm. The injection-seeded OPO provides high conversion efficiency (>40% overall energy conversion) and superior beam quality required for highly efficient downstream mixing where sum frequencies are generated in the UV. The frequency stability of the system is excellent, making it highly suitable for optical pumping. We demonstrate high resolution spectroscopy as well as optical pumping using laser-induced fluorescence and stimulated emission pumping, respectively, in supersonic pulsed molecular beams of nitric oxide.


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