Abstract

Extremely small transmission change spectra due to 4f4f transitions in a rare-earth ion Eu3+ in a crystal and in an aqueous solution were measured, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time. By multichannel double-lock-in pump-probe spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) and difference transmission spectra were simultaneously recorded for an Eu3+:Y2SiO5 crystal with broadband lamp light sources for both the pump and the probe. A very weak transmission change signal hidden behind a 1–2 orders of magnitude more intense PL background signal was readily extracted. By comparing the transmission decrease due to the excited-state absorption (ESA) and the transmission increase due to the ground-state depletion it was found in the crystal that the oscillator strengths for the ff transitions to the same final states are of the same order of magnitude for both the spin-allowed transitions from D05 in the ESA and the spin-forbidden transitions from F07 in the ground-state absorption (GSA). In addition, crystal-field split ff transitions that have been hidden by the intense charge-transfer band in the GSA were revealed.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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