Abstract

The effect of Doppler broadening on degenerate four-wave mixing (DFWM) signal intensities in the regime of high pump and probe laser intensities is investigated theoretically. DFWM reflectivities are calculated by solving the time-dependent density-matrix equations for a two-level system interacting with three laser fields. The density-matrix equations are integrated directly in the time domain on a grid of spatial locations along the phase-matching axis; the DFWM signal level is then calculated by summation of the polarization contribution (with the appropriate phase factor) from each of the spatial grid points. For the case in which the Doppler and the collisional linewidths are comparable, the DFWM reflectivity is found to be inversely proportional to the factor 1 + (bΔωDωC)2, where ΔωD is the Doppler width, ΔωC is the collisional width, and b is weakly dependent on the pump and the probe laser powers. We developed an analytical expression for the reflectivity of a line that is both collision and Doppler broadened by dividing the widely used Abrams and Lind expression for homogeneous reflectivity Rhom by the factor 1 + (bΔωDωC)2. This modified reflectivity expression is found to give accurate results for the DFWM reflectivity over a wide range of values for the ratio of Doppler to collisional width. With this modified Abrams–Lind expression, strategies for quantitative DFWM concentration measurements in flames and plasmas are proposed and analyzed. We conclude that, by selection of the appropriate rotational transition, a DFWM reflectivity that is directly proportional to the square of the total species number density can be obtained over a wide range of temperature for constant-laser-intensity spatial profile mapping in flames.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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