Saturation effects in photoassociation spectroscopy of strontium-86
Mickelson, Pascal Gerry
Killian, Thomas C.
Master of Science thesis
This work describes intensity saturation of photoassociative transitions of 86Sr at the quantum mechanical unitarity limit. The saturation behavior, which results in a roll-over of the photoassociation rate for intensities greater than the saturation intensity, features interesting physics. Unlike other photoassociation spectroscopy (PAS) experiments, photoassociation occurs in a magneto-optical trap operating on the narrow dipole-forbidden transition at 689 nm. A laser red-detuned from the principal atomic transition at 461 nm by as much as 1300 GHz induces the photoassociation of ground state atoms to excited molecular states. Our previous studies  suggest that some of the PAS transitions for 86Sr are sensitive to the intensity of the laser. This work delves more deeply into these high intensity PAS effects, a subject that has not, to our knowledge, been studied experimentally for alkaline-earth atoms.
Molecular physics; Atomic physics