Abstract

The saturation behavior of absorption and fluorescence spectra on the D2 line of Cs is presented, demonstrating a significant difference between open and closed transitions. Cs vapor is confined in an extremely thin cell (ETC) with widely tunable thickness L=(0.53)λ, where λ is the light wavelength. In the saturation regime, the closed transition demonstrates enhanced absorption in a narrow spectral interval due to the Dicke effect, while the open one demonstrates only a velocity-selective dip in the absorption. The fluorescence of open transitions shows reduced fluorescence dips, enhancing their contrast with ETC thickness. The closed transition exhibits only a small plateau around the optical transition center. Applying two-level theoretical modeling based on optical Bloch equations, a qualitative agreement with experimental observations is achieved. The rate of contrast enhancement with cell thickness is larger for the theoretical than for the experimental dips. In addition, for the closed transition a tiny peak in the fluorescence is theoretically predicted, with the first experimental confirmation presented. The sub-Doppler spectra of vapor layers with a thickness of several light wavelengths show potential for realization of precise frequency references and photonics sensors.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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