OPTICALLY-DETECTED MAGNETIC RESONANCE OF ALKALI ATOMS ISOLATED ON HELIUM NANO\-DROPLETS
Ohio State University
Sharp, hyperfine-resolved, ESR spectra of alkali atoms isolated on helium nanodroplets are measured by optically-detected magnetic resonance (ODMR). A net spin polarization is created inside a magnetic field ($B=0.2$~to~$4.2$\,T) by a pump laser beam. Microwave radiation in a resonant cavity at $9.4$\,GHz causes a spin transition which is detected by a probe laser beam. For ultimate precision the spectrum of free atoms is concurrently measured and serves as a reference. The shift of the ESR lines on the droplet with respect to free atoms directly reflects the distortion of the valence-electron wavefunction due to the He nanodroplet. While the electron $g$-factor remains unchanged within experimental uncertainties ($&lt;5$\,ppm), the increase of the hyperfine constant (typically $+400$\,ppm) is consistent with an increase of the Fermi contact interaction. We are able to follow this change as a function of droplet size attesting the sensitivity of the method for the measurement of chemical shifts. The observation of Rabi oscillations indicates a long decoherence time and proves our ability to perform coherent manipulation of the spin.
Author Institution: Institute of Experimental Physics, TU Graz, Petersgasse 16, 8010 Graz, Austria