Collisional Processes Between Laser-Excited Potassium Atoms
The formation of both positive ions and highly excited atoms upon resonant laser excitation of alkali vapors has been observed even at laser power densities considerably lower than is required for multiphoton processes to occur . Understanding the formation of these ions and excited atoms is complicated because several competitive mechanisms may occur. The relative contributions of each mechanism depend strongly on both the atomic density and the laser power density. Experiments have been carried out at very different values of these two parameters, namely atomic density in the range 1012÷1017 cm−3 and laser power density in the range 0.5÷108W/cm2. The collisional mechanisms may be followed on separated time scales [21 in experiments with pulsed lasers, however it is more difficult to separate the effects of different processes in cw experiments, where only the steady-state regime can be studied.
KeywordsAtomic Density Excited Atom Associative Ionization Laser Power Density Atomic Potassium
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