Comparative study of in situ N2 rotational Raman spectroscopy methods for probing energy thermalisation processes during spin-exchange optical pumping

Hayley Newton, Laura L. Walkup, Nicholas Whiting, Linda West, James Carriere, Frank Havermeyer, Lawrence Ho, Peter Morris, Boyd M. Goodson, Michael J. Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spin-exchange optical pumping (SEOP) has been widely used to produce enhancements in nuclear spin polarisation for hyperpolarised noble gases. However, some key fundamental physical processes underlying SEOP remain poorly understood, particularly in regards to how pump laser energy absorbed during SEOP is thermalised, distributed and dissipated. This study uses in situ ultra-low frequency Raman spectroscopy to probe rotational temperatures of nitrogen buffer gas during optical pumping under conditions of high resonant laser flux and binary Xe/N2 gas mixtures. We compare two methods of collecting the Raman scattering signal from the SEOP cell: a conventional orthogonal arrangement combining intrinsic spatial filtering with the utilisation of the internal baffles of the Raman spectrometer, eliminating probe laser light and Rayleigh scattering, versus a new in-line modular design that uses ultra-narrowband notch filters to remove such unwanted contributions. We report a ~23-fold improvement in detection sensitivity using the in-line module, which leads to faster data acquisition and more accurate real-time monitoring of energy transport processes during optical pumping. The utility of this approach is demonstrated via measurements of the local internal gas temperature (which can greatly exceed the externally measured temperature) as a function of incident laser power and position within the cell.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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