Regular Article – Atomic Physics
Doppler-free spectroscopy of the lowest triplet states of helium using double optical resonance
Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, ENS-Université PSL, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Collège de France, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005, Paris, France
2 Physics Department, UR TVA, Faculty of Science, Saint Joseph University, BP 11-514, Riad El Solh, 11072050, Beirut, Lebanon
Accepted: 18 July 2021
Published online: 11 August 2021
Optical pumping on the 2S–2P transition (1083 nm) of metastable He or He atoms is used for fundamental science and applications. We report on its combination with an optical probe on the 2P–3S transition (706.5 nm) in a ladder-type double optical resonance scheme, with CW single-frequency pump and probe diode lasers. Theoretical expectations for level structure and absorption spectra were computed for both isotopes. Narrow Doppler-free absorption lines were experimentally obtained in low-pressure gas samples. The line weights and Zeeman structure in weak magnetic field agreed with expectations. The precision of the line positions and line splittings was limited by generic errors of our commercial Fizeau wavemeter, which were independently characterised. The potential of this double resonance scheme for spectroscopic measurements on the three lowest triplet states of He was evaluated. The relevance of velocity- and sublevel-selective pumping combined with polarisation spectroscopy of probe absorption for a study of pressure-dependent population transfers in the 2P state was established.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to EDP Sciences, SIF and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021