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Saturation effects in photoassociation spectroscopy of strontium-86

By Pascal Gerry Mickelson


This work describes intensity saturation of photoassociative transitions of 86Sr at the quantum mechanical unitarity limit. The saturation behavior, which results in a roll-over of the photoassociation rate for intensities greater than the saturation intensity, features interesting physics. Unlike other photoassociation spectroscopy (PAS) experiments, photoassociation occurs in a magneto-optical trap operating on the narrow dipole-forbidden transition at 689 nm. A laser red-detuned from the principal atomic transition at 461 nm by as much as 1300 GHz induces the photoassociation of ground state atoms to excited molecular states. Our previous studies [1] suggest that some of the PAS transitions for 86Sr are sensitive to the intensity of the laser. This work delves more deeply into these high intensity PAS effects, a subject that has not, to our knowledge, been studied experimentally for alkaline-earth atoms

Topics: Molecular physics, Atomic physics
Year: 2006
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