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Proceedings Paper

Picosecond standoff multiphoton detection of gas phase species: initial results
Author(s): J. Bruce Johnson; Kevin Lyon; William D. Murry; Daniel R. Britton; Michael J. Johnson
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Paper Abstract

In the implementation of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) for the detection of vapor-phase organic compounds that accompany hazardous materials, multiphoton excitation offers a significant advantage over single photon methods. In particular, if the absorption spectra of unwanted background molecules overlap that of the target molecule, single photon LIF is plagued by false positives. Multiphoton methods alleviate this difficulty by requiring that the target molecule be in resonance with multiple molecular transitions. A promising multiphoton method is stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP). This method involves a counterintuitive sequence of laser pulses which is capable of transferring 100% of the target molecules to the desired excited state from which fluorescence is to be observed. As a precursor to more complex molecules, we demonstrate the STIRAP technique on sodium vapor using the 3p (2P1/2) ← 3s (2S1/2) and 5s (2S1/2) ← 3p (2P1/2) transitions. This is the first time STIRAP has been achieved on a vapor using picosecond lasers. We produced light to couple the states using two synchronously pumped OPG/OPAs (pumped by the 355 nm light from a picosecond YAG). We measured the fluorescence from the 5s state to both 3p states (2P1/2, 2P3/2) and from both 3p states to the 3s state with monochromator using a gated CCD to eliminate Rayleigh scattered light. Our results indicate a four to five-fold increase in the transfer efficiency to the 5s state when the laser pulse that couples the 3p and 5s states precedes the laser pulse tuned to the 3p ← 3s transition.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6975, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications IV, 69750S (24 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.785376
Show Author Affiliations
J. Bruce Johnson, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Kevin Lyon, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
William D. Murry, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Daniel R. Britton, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Michael J. Johnson, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6975:
Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications IV
Michael J. Hayduk; Peter J. Delfyett Jr.; Andrew R. Pirich; Eric J. Donkor, Editor(s)

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