OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Vol. 20, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 2003
  • pp: 2068–2074

Comparison of metastability-exchange optical pumping sources

Thomas R. Gentile, Michael E. Hayden, and Michael J. Barlow  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 20, Issue 10, pp. 2068-2074 (2003)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (162 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The efficiencies of two ytterbium (Yb) fiber lasers for metastability-exchange optical pumping are compared with that of an arc-lamp-pumped neodymium-doped lanthanum magnesium hexaluminate laser. Specifically, we report a careful comparison of the 3He nuclear polarizations and polarization rates obtained with each laser, which were carried out for three sealed glass cells filled with low-pressure 3He or 3He–4He mixtures. The two Yb systems are (1) a 1083-nm diode oscillator coupled to a Yb-doped fiber amplifier and (2) an all-fiber system consisting of a Yb-doped fiber oscillator followed by a Yb-doped fiber amplifier. Essentially no difference was observed between the efficiency of the neodymium-doped lanthanum magnesium hexaluminate laser and the diode/fiber system. In comparison, the all-fiber laser produced a 0%–5% lower polarization and a 0%–35% lower polarization rate than the other two lasers, depending upon the specific experimental conditions. Absorption and spectral line-shape measurements suggest that this difference can be attributed to the spectral linewidth of the particular all-fiber laser that was tested.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2190) General : Experimental physics
(000.2690) General : General physics
(140.5560) Lasers and laser optics : Pumping

Thomas R. Gentile, Michael E. Hayden, and Michael J. Barlow, "Comparison of metastability-exchange optical pumping sources," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 2068-2074 (2003)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. P. Tin and L. D. Schearer, “A high power, tunable, arc-lamp pumped Nd-doped lanthanum-hexaluminate laser,” J. Appl. Phys. 68, 950–953 (1990).
  2. C. G. Aminoff, C. Larat, M. Leduc, and F. Laloë, “Optical pumping of helium with arc lamp excited LNA lasers,” Rev. Phys. Appl. 24, 827–831 (1989).
  3. T. R. Gentile and R. D. McKeown, “Spin-polarizing 3He nuclei with an arc-lamp-pumped neodymium-doped lanthanum magnesium hexaluminate laser,” Phys. Rev. A 47, 456–467 (1993).
  4. N. P. Bigelow, P. J. Nacher, and M. Leduc, “Accurate optical measurement of nuclear polarization in optically pumped 3He gas,” J. Phys. II 2, 2159–2179 (1992).
  5. F. D. Colegrove, L. D. Schearer, and G. K. Walters, “Polarization of 3He gas by optical pumping,” Phys. Rev. 132, 2561–2572 (1963).
  6. J. Becker, J. Bermuth, M. Ebert, T. Grossmann, W. Heil, D. Hofmann, H. Humblot, M. Leduc, E. W. Otten, D. Rohe, and R. Surkau, “Interdiscliplinary experiments with polarized 3He,” Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A 402, 327–336 (1998).
  7. H. Gao, J. Arrington, E. J. Beise, B. Bray, R. W. Carr, B. W. Filippone, A. Lung, R. D. McKeown, B. Mueller, M. L. Pitt, C. E. Jones, D. DeSchepper, G. Dodson, K. Dow, R. Ent, M. Farkhondeh, J.-O. Hansen, W. Korsch, L. H. Kramer, K. Lee, N. Makins, R. G. Milner, D. R. Tieger, T. P. Welch, E. Candell, J Napolitano, B. B. Wojtsekhowski, C. Tripp, and W. Lorenzon, “Measurement of the neutron magnetic form factor from inclusive quasielastic scattering of polarized electrons from polarized 3He,” Phys. Rev. C 50, R546–R549 (1994).
  8. D. DeSchepper, L. H. Kramer, S. F. Pate, K. Ackerstaff, R. W. Carr, G. R. Court, A. Dvoredsky, H. Gao, A. Golendoukhin, J.-O. Hansen, Y. Holer, C. E. Jones, J. F. Kelsy, E. Kinney, W. Korsch, K. Lee, J. W. Martin, R. D. McKeown, R. G. Milner, M. Niczyporuk, M. L. Pitt, H. R. Poolman, G. Roper, T. Shin, J. Sowinski, E. Steffens, J. Stewart, F. Stock, M. Sutter, H. Tallini, B. Tipton, R. vanBommel, T. Wise, and K. Zapfe-Duren, “The HERMES polarized 3He internal target,” Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A 419, 16–44 (1998).
  9. T. R. Gentile, D. R. Rich, A. K. Thompson, W. M. Snow, and G. L. Jones, “Compressing spin-polarized 3He with a modified diaphragm pump,” J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. 106, 709–729 (2001).
  10. C. D. Keith, T. C. Black, X. Fei, M. Flamini, T. R. Gentile, G. L. Jones, D. R. Rich, W. M. Snow, A. K. Thompson, and F. E. Wietfeldt, “Neutron polarizers based on polarized 3He,” Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A 402, 236–240 (1998).
  11. T. R. Gentile, G. L. Jones, A. K. Thompson, R. R. Rizi, I. E. Dimitrov, D. Roberts, W. Gefter, M. D. Schnall, and J. S. Leigh, “Demonstration of a compact compressor for application of metastability-exchange optical pumping of 3He to human lung imaging,” Magn. Reson. Med. 43, 290–294 (2000).
  12. D. Candela, M. E. Hayden, and P. J. Nacher, “Steady-state production of high nuclear polarization in 3He–4He mixtures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 2587–2590 (1994).
  13. S. V. Chernikov, J. R. Taylor, N. S. Platonov, V. P. Gapontsev, P. J. Nacher, G. Tastevin, M. Leduc, and M. J. Barlow, “1083 nm ytterbium doped fibre amplifier for optical pumping of helium,” Electron. Lett. 33, 787–789 (1997).
  14. R. M. Mueller, “The Yb fiber laser for metastable 3He optical pumping at Julich,” Physica B 297, 277–281 (2001).
  15. M. Leduc, P.-J. Nacher, G. Tastevin, and E. Courtade, “Kinetics of helium-3 laser optical pumping,” Hyperfine Interact. 127, 443–449 (2000).
  16. C. G. Aminoff, W. Essabaa, I. Brissaud, and J. Arianer, “A high power lamp-pumped LNA laser with thermally tuned etalon,” Opt. Commun. 86, 99–105 (1991).
  17. P. J. Nacher and M. Leduc, “Optical pumping in 3He with a laser,” J. Phys. (France) 46, 2057–2073 (1985).
  18. G. Eckert, W. Heil, M. Meyerhoff, E. W. Otten, R. Surkau, M. Werner, M. Leduc, P. J. Nacher, and L. D. Schearer, “A dense polarized 3He target based on compression of optically pumped gas,” Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A 320, 53–65 (1994).
  19. W. Lorenzon, T. R. Gentile, H. Gao, and R. D. McKeown, “NMR calibration of optical measurement of nuclear polarization in 3He,” Phys. Rev. A 47, 468–479 (1993). The po-larization values quoted in this paper are based on the calibration in this reference.
  20. C. Larat, “Laser LNA de puissance; application au pompage optique de l’helium-3 et des melanges helium-3/helium-4,” These de Doctorat (L’Universite Paris 6, France, 1991).
  21. E. Stoltz, M. Meyerhoff, N. Bigelow, M. Leduc, P. J. Nacher, and G. Tastevin, “High nuclear polarization in 3He and 3He–4He gas mixtures by optical pumping with a laser diode,” Appl. Phys. B 63, 629–633 (1996).
  22. The manufacturer of this laser specified a linewidth of 2 GHz, but it was not convenient for us to return the laser to remedy the larger than specified linewidth.
  23. R. Loudon, The Quantum Theory of Light (Clarendon, Oxford, 1984). We determined the power-broadened linewidth using matrix element data for the C8 transition obtained from Ref. 17.
  24. J. Dupont-Roc, M. Leduc, and F. Lalöe, “New value for the metastability-exchange cross section in 3He,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 27, 467–470 (1971).
  25. E. Courtade, F. Marion, P.-J. Nacher, G. Tastevin, K. Kiersnowski, and T. Dohnalik, “Magnetic field effects on the 1083 nm atomic line of helium,” Eur. Phys. J. D 21, 25–55 (2002).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited