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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2001
  • pp: 367–373

Coherent broadband light effects in grating spectrometer studies of emission from alkali atoms at surfaces

Leif Holmlid  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 367-373 (2001)

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With ordinary grating spectrometers, strong bands that are due to broadband coherent light emission from samples containing various amounts of alkali atoms can be observed. The coherent light is proposed to be emitted by the alkali Rydberg states that are easily formed in these systems. The edges of the bands are observed at angles corresponding to low numbers of standing waves along the grating surface and perpendicular to it. This type of band is observed both with thermal sources and with broadband light sources created by pulsed laser light, and it is observed only with s-polarized (TE-mode) light. The band intensities are independent of the entrance slit width in the spectrometer, which shows that strong interference effects exist. The number of interference fringes observed on top of the most intense band is directly proportional to the width of the entrance slit. The time-resolved signal shows that large photon peaks from thermal sources are emitted in bursts within 2 μs, probably corresponding to the lifetime of the emitting Rydberg states and Rydberg clusters.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.5780) Atomic and molecular physics : Rydberg states
(030.1670) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherent optical effects
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(050.2770) Diffraction and gratings : Gratings
(120.4140) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Monochromators
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation

Original Manuscript: June 22, 2000
Revised Manuscript: September 12, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: September 12, 2000
Published: February 1, 2001

Leif Holmlid, "Coherent broadband light effects in grating spectrometer studies of emission from alkali atoms at surfaces," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 367-373 (2001)

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  1. J. Wang, K. Engvall, L. Holmlid, “Cluster KN formation by Rydberg collision complex stabilization during scattering of a K beam off zirconia surfaces,” J. Chem. Phys. 110, 1212–1220 (1999). [CrossRef]
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  5. L. Holmlid, “Complex kinetics of desorption and diffusion: Field reversal study of K excited-state desorption from graphite layer surfaces,” J. Phys. Chem. A 102, 10636–10646 (1998). [CrossRef]
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  10. J. E. Stewart, W. S. Gallaway, “Diffraction anomalies in grating spectrometers,” Appl. Opt. 1, 421–429 (1962). [CrossRef]
  11. A. Hessel, A. A. Oliner, “A new theory of Wood’s anomalies on optical gratings,” Appl. Opt. 4, 1275–1297 (1965). [CrossRef]
  12. A. K. E. Hagopian, “Wood’s diffraction grating anomalies and other factors in explanation of the artifacts in previous spectral emission studies,” Chem. Phys. Lett. 12, 327–330 (1971). [CrossRef]
  13. W.-D. Mross, “Alkali doping in heterogeneous catalysts,” Catal. Rev. Sci. Eng. 25, 591–637 (1983). [CrossRef]
  14. J. Lundin, L. Holmlid, P. G. Menon, L. Nyborg, “Surface composition of iron oxide catalysts used for styrene production: an Auger electron spectroscopy/scanning electron microscopy study,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 32, 2500–2505 (1993). [CrossRef]
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