We report experimental and theoretical studies of optical hole burning in the inhomogeneous R1 line of ruby at low temperatures. Both Stark-shifting and pump-probe techniques using narrow-band single-frequency lasers were employed. In addition to the observation of narrow holes, we have found that a large (up to 70%) decrease in absorption occurs outside the hole and that the relative size of this decrease is constant over the entire inhomogeneous line. This effect is ascribed to fast resonant cross-spin relaxation in the ground-state levels which drives all spins within the optically pumped volume to a common spin temperature. A theoretical model is formulated which describes the power-broadened hole shapes as well as the off-resonance decrease in the absorption coefficient. Fair agreement with experiment is obtained for the case of a magnetic field applied along the c axis; however, sizable deviations from the theory are seen for zero field. We conclude that further studies are needed to elucidate the nature of the Al superhyperfine-broadening mechanism. An upper limit of 1200 nm is deduced for the size of macroscopically broadened regions in ruby.
American Physical Society
Physical Review B21, no. 3: 926–936.
Mr. Szabo was affiliated with the National Research Council of Canada, Division of Electrical Engineering when they authored this article.