Study of transitions in thulium atoms in the 410–420-nm range for laser cooling Academic Article uri icon


  • The possibility of laser cooling of thulium atoms is considered. The hyperfine structure of almost cyclic 4f136s2 (J g = 7/2) ↔ 4f125d3/26s2 (J e = 9/2) and 4f136s2 (Jg = 7/2) ↔ 4f125d5/26s2 (Je = 9/2) transitions at 410.6 and 420.4 nm, respectively, is studied by the method of sub-Doppler saturation spectroscopy in counterpropagating laser beams. The hyperfine splitting of excited levels involved in these transitions is measured and the natural linewidths of these transitions are determined. The structure of the neighbouring 4f136s6p (Je = 5/2) and 4f 125d5/26s2 (Je = 7/2) levels is studied for the first time by this method. The decay probabilities of the J e = 9/2 levels via channels removing atoms from the cooling cycle are calculated. It is found that the branching ratio for the strong transition at 410.6 nm (A = 6×107 s-1) is smaller than 2×10-5, which makes this transition most promising for laser cooling. The laser cooling of atoms in a Zeeman cooler at this transition is simulated. The possibility of using a laser-cooled cloud of thulium atoms to study the metrological transition at 1.14 μm is discussed. © 2008 Kvantovaya Elektronika and Turpion Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Akimov, A. V., Chebakov, K. Y., Tolstikhina, I. Y., Sokolov, A. V., Rodionov, P. B., Kanorsky, S. I., Sorokin, V. N., & Kolachevsky, N. N

complete list of authors

  • Akimov, AV||Chebakov, K Yu||Tolstikhina, I Yu||Sokolov, AV||Rodionov, PB||Kanorsky, SI||Sorokin, VN||Kolachevsky, NN

publication date

  • January 1, 2008 11:11 AM