Authors: Suter, Dieter
Grafström, Stefan
Title: Interaction of spin-polarized atoms with a surface studied by optical-reflection spectroscopy
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: We present an experiment for the investigation of the interaction of spin-polarized Na atoms with a dielectric surface. A laser beam, which is resonant with an atomic transition, probes the spin polarization near the surface. It is reflected at the surface and the change of its polarization is measured. Our analysis takes into account that the spin polarization is reduced near the surface because of surface-induced spin relaxation. The theory shows that strong wall relaxation leads to a clear modification of the shape and strength of the optical line. The dependence of the line shape on the angle of incidence immediately below the critical angle of total internal reflection provides a sensitive tool for the quantitative determination of the depolarization probability ɛ per wall collision. Measurements performed at a Pyrex glass surface provide a clear experimental confirmation of the theory and yield a value of ɛ≊0.5. The case of weak wall relaxation is exemplified by experimental results from a silicone-coated glass surface, which are equally well reproduced by the theory. The method offers the prospect of using surface-induced spin relaxation for the study of surface properties and atom-surface interactions for various surfaces.
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Issue Date: 1996-09
Provenance: The American Physical Society
Citation: Stefan Grafström and Dieter Suter: Interaction of Spin-Polarized Atoms with a Surface Studied by Optical Reflection Spectroscopy. In: Physical Review A 54, 2169-2179 (1996).
Appears in Collections:Suter, Dieter Prof. Dr.

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