Sodium atomic beams produced by laser blow-off technique were investigated by counterpropagating resonant laser radiation. The light scattered perpendicularly to the beam and the produced ions were detected. The observed light signal could be decomposed into two fundamental constituents. One of them, following the incident pulse shape with no wavelength dependence, stemmed from the nonresonant scattering of light on the particles of the beam. The other constituent showed exponential decay with wavelength- dependent amplitude and with lifetime considerably longer than that of the excited state. This originated from the imprisonment of resonant radiation. From the observed lifetime the density of the ground state sodium atoms has been estimated. Multiphoton ionization of the neutral atoms of the beam was also investigated. The observed ion yield/laser intensity dependence is in good agreement with the theoretical predictions for three-step multiphoton ionization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering