Radiative lifetimes, collisional mixing, and quenching of the cesium 5DJ levels

A. Sasso, W. Demtröder, T. Colbert, C. Wang, E. Ehrlacher, J. Huennekens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We report the results of a series of pulsed and cw laser experiments which measure spontaneous and effective lifetimes of the Cs(5DJ) levels and investigate excitation-transfer collisions involving Cs(5DJ) atoms and ground-state-cesium perturbers. With cw excitation of the dipole-forbidden but electric-quadrupole-allowed 6S1/25D5/2 transition, we monitor the ratio of sensitized to direct fluorescence, i.e., I5D3/26P1/2/I5D5/26P3/2. A rate-equation analysis of these data yields values for the Cs(5D5/2)+Cs(6S) Cs(5D3/2)+Cs(6S) excitation-transfer rate, and for the rate of quenching of Cs(5D) by ground-state perturbers. The role of out-of-multiplet quenching is discussed at length, and we have demonstrated that quenching by ground-state atoms dominates over that by cesium dimers under these conditions. In the pulsed-laser experiments, the temporal evolution of the 5DJ6S and cascade 6PJ6S fluorescence was observed following either direct forbidden-line pumping of one fine-structure level, or indirect excitation of both fine-structure levels (i.e., molecular excitation followed by predissociation). Analysis of the buildup and decay rates of the various levels as a function of cesium density yields values for the natural lifetimes of the Cs(5DJ) levels, as well as for the excitation transfer and quenching rates. Best values for the lifetimes and cross sections for Cs-Cs collisions obtained from these combined experiments are 5D=1250115 ns, 5/23/2=368 2, and 5D=303 2. In addition, numbers for the 6P level-quenching cross sections due to collisions with Cs atoms and Cs2 molecules, respectively, were obtained: 6P(Cs)=6.63.0 2 and 6P(Cs2)=863260 2. In the discussion, we show how these new values can be used to reconcile the seemingly discrepant results of several previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1670-1683
Number of pages14
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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