Efficient three-photon excitation of quasi-one-dimensional strontium Rydberg atoms with n ~ 300
The efficient production of very-high-n, n ~ 300, quasi-one-dimensional (quasi-1D) strontium Rydberg atoms through three-photon excitation of extreme Stark states in the presence of a weak dc field is demonstrated using a crossed laser-atom beam geometry. Strongly polarized quasi-1D states with large permanent dipole moments ∼1.2n2 a.u. can be created in the beam at densities (∼106 cm−3) where dipole blockade effects should become important. A further advantage of three-photon excitation is that the product F states are sensitive to the presence of external fields, allowing stray fields to be reduced to very small values. The experimental data are analyzed using quantum calculations based on a two-active-electron model together with classical trajectory Monte Carlo simulations. These allow determination of the atomic dipole moments and confirm that stray fields can be reduced to _25 μV cm−1.