Abstract

A high-peak-power, narrow-linewidth light source with a homogeneous beam profile has been constructed by modifications to a commercially available pulsed-dye-laser system. Output pulses of up to 10 mJ were generated with linewidths of about 50 MHz for 12-nsec pulses. The pulse-to-pulse frequency stability was better than the linewidth, and the center frequency could be scanned over a frequency range of 142.5 GHz at a wavelength of 600 nm. The performance of the system was demonstrated by observing the 6s2 1S0–6s7s1S0 transition in atomic mercury at 2λ = 312.8 nm and the 6s2S1/2–8s2S1/2 transition in atomic gold at 2λ = 308.9 nm using up to 1 mJ of frequency-doubled output for two-photon nonlinear absorption spectroscopy. The lifetimes of both excited states, the magnetic hyperfine splitting of the 8s2S1/2 state in gold, and the isotope shift of the 6s7s1S0 state of mercury were determined.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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