Three-photon ionization of xenon, resonantly enhanced by the Xe 6p0 state at 80 119 cm-1, is observed when a xenon atom simultaneously absorbs one ArF (51733-cm-1) and two XeF (28 482-cm-1) photons. For ArF and XeF laser intensities in the 1-100-MW cm-2 range, the peak electron density is more than an order-of-magnitude larger than that obtainable by the nonresonant, two-photon ionization of Xe by ArF. The spontaneous radiative lifetime of the 6p0 level and the rate constant for quenching of the state by background Xe atoms were measured to be 29±4 ns and 4±1 × 10-10 cm3s-1, respectively. Excitation of the 6p0 state is both selective and intense and has resulted in lasing on the 6p0→6s1 transition at 828.0 nm, which represents the first optically pumped rare-gas laser.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics