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Published May 1, 1978 | Published
Journal Article Open

Coherent Transients by Laser-Acoustical Diffraction Spectroscopy

Zewail, A. H.


Recently we have reported[1] on the measurements of electronic dephasing (T_2) and radiationless decay (T_1) in molecules using emission spectroscopy as a probe for the detection of the photon echo. This right-angle photon echo utilizes a single mode of a narrow-band (~MHz) cw dye laser and an intracavity electro-optical (EO) element that modulates the frequency of the laser.[2] Applying voltage pulses into the EO crystal switches the laser frequency from ω_0 (the peak frequency of the transition resonance) into another frequency ω. This switching procedure introduced by Brewer et al. for the observation of transients in the forward direction of the laser allows one to observe coherent transients in gases,[1,2] solids[3-5] and molecular beams.[6] Typically, the dispersion of the nonlinear EO crystal (e.g., AD*P) gives a 60 MHz frequency shift within the inhomogeneous resonance of the optical transition (width ~GHz or larger). Therefore, to switch the laser frequency further, one must use high-voltage signals that are usually hard to obtain especially for multiple-pulse experiments. Secondly, there is a limit on the frequency shift which is conditioned by the mode spacing of the cavity. Thirdly, because the laser is switched into a new group of molecules some complications may arise in interpreting the transient spectra especially in large molecules. This is because in large molecules the density of excited states is high and thus the buildup of transients of w molecules (which could be complex) will be superimposed on the decay of ω_0 molecules. Finally, off-resonance effects (e.g., beats) between the molecules at frequency ω and ω_0 cannot be avoided.

Additional Information

© 1978 Optical Society of America Finally, I would like to acknowledge a fruitful discussion with M. Levenson of USC regarding the possible connections between the observation of the beats in the echo (EO) experiment and Ramsey's fringes.

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Published - 1978-JOSA-Zewail.pdf


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