Efficient three-step, two-color ionization of plutonium using a resonance enhanced 2-photon transition into an autoionizing state

  • P. Kunz
  • G. Huber
  • G. Passler
  • N. Trautmann


Resonance ionization mass spectrometry (RIMS) has proven to be a powerful method for isotope selective ultra-trace analysis of long-lived radioisotopes. For plutonium detection limits of \(\rm 10^{6}\) to \(\rm 10^{7}\) atoms have been achieved for various types of samples. So far a three-step, three-color laser excitation scheme was applied for efficient ionization. In this work, a two-photon transition from an excited state into a high-lying autoionizing state, will be presented, yielding a similar overall efficiency as the three-step, three-color ionization scheme. In this way, only two tunable lasers are needed, while the advantages of a three-step, three-color excitation (high selectivity, good efficiency and low non-resonant background) are preserved. The two-photon transition has been characterized with respect to saturation behavior and line width. The three-step, two-color ionization is a possibility for an improved RIMS procedure.


Line Width Plutonium Laser Excitation Powerful Method Good Efficiency 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PhysikUniversität MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Institut für KernchemieUniversität MainzMainzGermany

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