Abstract

We present a technique for nonintrusive and standoff detection of large organic molecules using coherent microwave Rayleigh scattering from plasma produced by structure sensitive photoionization through Rydberg states. We test the method on 1,4-diazobicyclooctane. Transitions between the 3s Rydberg state and higher lying Rydberg states are probed using two-color photoionization with 266nm photons and photons in the range of 4602400nm. Photoionization is detected using microwave radiation, which is scattered by the unbounded electrons. Highly resolved Rydberg spectra are acquired in vacuum and in air.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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