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Proceedings Paper

Nonlinear effects in laser excitation of atomic gases in the vicinity of solid surfaces
Author(s): Tigran A. Vartanyan; Duo-Liang Lin
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Paper Abstract

Understanding the processes underlying the optical excitation of atomic vapor in the vicinity of solid surfaces is of interest both from physical and technical points of view. Selective reflection spectra of laser light from an interface of a transparent dielectric material and resonant vapor are known to be Doppler-free and to provide important spectroscopic information about the atom-wall interaction. On the other hand, atomic vapors have such a large and fast nonlinear response on or near resonances that they are capable of processing signals and images with milliwatt lasers at a time scale of submicroseconds. In the present paper we investigate linear and nonlinear optical properties of a thin film of atomic vapor confined between two solid surfaces. Assuming two-level atoms, we solve the Maxwell- Bloch equations for light reflection from resonant atoms. The interaction between the resonant atoms and the wall is accounted for through the boundary conditions for all elements of density matrix. The transient polarization is shown to make an important contribution not only to the field structure in the vicinity of the wall but also to the interference pattern of the reflected field. It is found that the spectrum of reflection depends remarkably on the film thickness. Strong enhancement of signal is also found from this study and possible devices for the detection are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3093, Nonresonant Laser-Matter Interaction (NLMI-9), (4 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271668
Show Author Affiliations
Tigran A. Vartanyan, S.I. Vavilov State Optical Institute (Russia)
Duo-Liang Lin, SUNY/Buffalo (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3093:
Nonresonant Laser-Matter Interaction (NLMI-9)
Vitali I. Konov; Mikhail N. Libenson, Editor(s)

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