Hybrid spin-exchange optical pumping of 3He.
We demonstrate spin-exchange optical pumping of 3He using a "hybrid" K-Rb vapor mixture. The Rb atoms absorb light from a standard laser at 795 nm, then collisionally polarize the potassium atoms. Spin-exchange collisions of K and 3He atoms then transfer the angular momentum to the 3He with much greater efficiency than Rb-3He. For a K-rich vapor, the efficiency of the hybrid spin-exchange collisions approaches 1/4, an order of magnitude greater than achieved by pure Rb pumping. We present the first measurements of actual photon efficiencies (polarized nuclei produced per absorbed photon), and show that a new parasitic absorption process limits the total efficiencies for both hybrid and pure Rb pumping.
Babcock, E; Nelson, I; Kadlecek, S; Driehuys, B; Anderson, LW; Hersman, FW; Walker, TG
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