A novel vacuum ultra violet lamp for metastable rare gas experiments

Daerr, Heiner; Kohler, Markus; Sahling, Peter; Tippenhauer, Sandra; Arabi-Hashemi, Ariyan; Becker, Christoph; Sengstock, Klaus; Kalinowski, Martin B.
July 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Jul2011, Vol. 82 Issue 7, p073106
Academic Journal
We report on a new design of a vacuum ultra violet (VUV) lamp for direct optical excitation of high laying atomic states, e.g., for excitation of metastable rare gas atoms. The lamp can be directly mounted to ultra-high vacuum vessels (p <= 10-10mbar). It is driven by a 2.45 GHz microwave source. For optimum operation, it requires powers of ∼20 W. The VUV light is transmitted through a magnesium fluoride window, which is known to have a decreasing transmittance for VUV photons with time. In our special setup, after a run-time of the VUV lamp of 550 h the detected signal continuously decreased to 25% of its initial value. This corresponds to a lifetime increase of two orders of magnitude compared to previous setups or commercial lamps.


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