Fundamentals of metastability exchange optical pumping in helium

Abstract : Advances in metastability exchange optical pumping (MEOP) at high laser powers, but also at high gas pressures and high magnetic field strengths, has provided strong motivation for revisiting the understanding of the limitations of this powerful technique. A comprehensive model has been developped for improved description of the combined effects of OP, ME, and relaxation, and of detailed MEOP features observed over the broad range of operating conditions. A brief description is provided, with illustrative comparisons of computed and experimental results. This improved tool is used to explain the excellent photon efficiency of OP obtained at all field strengths. It is combined with an angular momentum budget approach to quantitatively investigate the newly discovered strong OP-enhanced polarisation losses that currently limits MEOP performance.
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Marion Batz, Pierre-Jean Nacher, Geneviève Tastevin. Fundamentals of metastability exchange optical pumping in helium. JCNS Workshop on Modern Trends in Production and Applications of Polarized 3He, Jul 2010, Ismaning, Germany. pp.012002, ⟨10.1088/1742-6596/294/1/012002⟩. ⟨hal-00562617v2⟩

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