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Saturation and inverse-saturation absorption line shapes in alexandrite

Michelle S. Malcuit, Robert W. Boyd, Lloyd W. Hillman, Jerzy Krasinski, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

JOSA B 1, 73 (1984).

Through the use of modulation spectroscopy the authors have measured the absorption spectrum experienced by a weak probe beam in the presence of a saturating pump beam at two different wavelengths within the broad homogeneous absorption band of alexandrite. At 584 nm the absorption saturates at high pump intensities, and a hole (of width 612 Hz) appears at frequencies near that of the pump laser. However, at 457 nm the absorption demonstrates the inverse of normal saturation because of strong excited-state absorption, and an antihole appears at the pump frequency. These results are in good quantitative agreement with the predictions of a model that ascribes the origin of these spectral features to the temporal modulation of the ground-state population at the beat frequency between the pump and the probe beams. These population oscillations are treated properly within a rate-equation approximation in which the amplitude modulation of the total optical intensity caused by the beating of the pump and the probe beams is taken into account.

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