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Title: Electric-field-induced change of the alkali-metal vapor density in paraffin-coated cells
Authors: Kimball, Jackson D.F.
Nguyen, Khoa
Ravi, K.
Sharma, Arijit
Prabhudesai, Vaibhav S.
Rangwala, S.A.
Yashchuk, V.V.
Balabas, M.V.
Budker, D.
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: American Physical Society
Citation: Physical Review A, 2009, Vol. 78, 032901
Abstract: Alkali-metal vapor cells with antirelaxation coating (especially paraffin-coated cells) have been a central tool in optical pumping and atomic spectroscopy experiments for 50 years. We have discovered a dramatic change of the alkali-metal vapor density in a paraffin-coated cell upon application of an electric field to the cell. A systematic experimental characterization of the phenomenon is carried out for electric fields ranging in strength from 0–8 kV/cm for paraffin-coated cells containing rubidium and cells containing cesium. The typical response of the vapor density to a rapid (duration <~100 ms) change in electric field of sufficient magnitude includes (a) a rapid (duration of <~100 ms) and significant increase in alkali-metal vapor density followed by (b) a less rapid (duration of ~1 s) and significant decrease in vapor density (below the equilibrium vapor density), and then (c) a slow (duration of ~100 s) recovery of the vapor density to its equilibrium value. Measurements conducted after the alkali-metal vapor density has returned to its equilibrium value indicate minimal change (at the level of <~10%) in the relaxation rate of atomic polarization. Experiments suggest that the phenomenon is related to an electric-field-induced modification of the paraffin coating.
Description: Open Access.
ISSN: 1050-2947
1094-1622 (Online)
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Copyright: 2009 The American Physical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (LAMP)

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