Abstract

We report on the time behavior of ionization signals produced by laser excitation of Ca and Ba atomic vapor to high-Rydberg states. A space-charge-limited thermionic diode detector shows a long-lived (>1-msec) ionization signal. However, optical detection of atomic ions (Ca+, Ba+) shows that these species live for much shorter times (<100 μsec). These results, in conjunction with published results on mass-spectrometric studies of high-density atomic beams, suggest that our ionization signal is primarily due to molecular species (Ca2+, Ba2+). We also observed optically pumped amplified spontaneous emission and stimulated electronic Raman scattering in Ca+ and Ba+.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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