Abstract

An experimental demonstration of a fast atomic line filter/field ionization detector (FALF/FID) is presented. The FALF/FID detects incoming signal photons by resonant absorption in an atomic vapor cell containing a strong electric field. Excited atoms are electric-field ionized after further excitation to a Stark-shifted Rydberg level by a pump laser tuned to a resonance in the ionization spectrum, providing an observed enhancement in the ionization rate of ten times over the continuum ionization threshold. Preliminary measurements of time response (<10 nsec) and quantum efficiency (>25%) indicate that with optimization the FALF/FID will provide high quantum efficiency, fast time response, and narrow-linewidth detection.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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