Ion energy spectra of a laser-produced Ta plasma have been investigated as a function of the flight distance from the focus. The laser (Nd:YAG, 20 ns, 210 mJ) is incident obliquely (45°) and focused to an intensity of about 10^11 W cm-2. The changes in the ion distributions have been analysed for the Ta+ to Ta6+ ions in an expansion range 64 - 220 cm. With increasing distance from the target, a weak but monotonic decrease is observed for the total number of ions, which is essentially due to the decrease in the number of the more highly charged species. For the Ta+ and Ta2+ ions the net changes approximately cancel. A more sophisticated picture of the recombination dynamics is obtained, however, if the changes within individual groups of ions expanding with different velocities are compared. Here, in the same spectrum, both increasing and decreasing ion numbers can be observed. This can be interpreted as direct evidence of recombination and its dependence on temperature, density and charge.
The particle flux produced by an obliquely incident Nd Q-switched pulse (20 ns) on a Ta target has been analysed with regard to its angular distribution resolved for both its neutral and ion components. The laser intensity has been varied in the range between about 10^10 - 10^11 W cm-2, which is appropriate for many low-irradiance applications. It is observed that, at all emission angles and for the whole range of laser intensities, the number of neutral species clearly dominates the composition of the particles. At 1.3 x 10^10 W cm-2 the total number of emitted particles is 4 x 10^14, scaling as E_L^¾ with the laser energy. While for relatively low laser energies the angular distribution shows the usual smooth cos-behaviour, an additional strong directive emission cone, superimposed upon the cos-distribution, develops if the laser energy is enhanced. Both the strength and the width strongly depend on the laser intensity. While at lower intensities a fit by a cos^n function with n ~ 10 seems appropriate, n increases to 26 at an intensity of 10^11 W cm-2 . It can be assumed that secondary energy transfer processes that are not yet fully understood are responsible for this anomalous emission.
The conversion efficiency of laser energy into kinetic ion energy in a laser-produced plasma has been investigated for two quite different targets: graphite and tantalum. The laser energy (intensity) varied from several mJ to 200 mJ (1O^9 to 7 x 10^10 W cm-2) which is appropriate to many applications of a laser produced ion source. The conversion efficiency as a function of the laser energy was directly determined by differential measurements of the charge, kinetic energy and angular emission distribution of the plasma ions in absolute units. Whilst for the Ta target a nearly constant efficiency of about 30% was observed, the graphite result shows an unexpectedly strong enhancement of the transfer efficiency of up to 80% in the laser intensity range around 1.5 x l0^10 W cm-2. It is assumed that the results are related to the difference in the surface roughness of the targets.
thesis deals with the investigation of the dynamics of optically excited (hot) electrons in thin and ultra-thin layers. The main interests concern about the time behaviour of the dissipation of energy and momentum of the excited electrons. The relevant relaxation times occur in the femtosecond time region. The two-photon photoemission is known to be an adequate tool in order to analyse such dynamical processes in real-time. This work expands the knowledge in the fields of electron relaxation in ultra-thin silver layers on different substrates, as well as in adsorbate states in a bandgap of a semiconductor. It contributes facts to the comprehension of spin transport through an interface between a metal and a semiconductor. The primary goal was to prove the predicted theory by reducing the observed crystal in at least one direction. One expects a change of the electron relaxation behaviour while altering the crystal’s shape from a 3d bulk to a 2d (ultra-thin) layer. This is due to the fact that below a determined layer thickness, the electron gas transfers to a two-dimensional one. This behaviour could be proven in this work. In an about 3nm thin silver layer on graphite, the hot electrons show a jump to longer relaxation time all over the whole accessible energy range. It is the first time that the temporal evolution of the relaxation of excited electrons could be observed during the transition from a 3d to a 2d system. In order to reduce or even eliminate the influence coming from the substrate, the system of silver on the semiconductor GaAs, which has a bandgap of 1.5eV at the Gamma-point, was investigated. The observations of the relaxation behaviour of hot electron in different ultra-thin silver layers on this semiconductor could show, that at metal-insulator-junctions, plasmons in the silver and in the interface, as well as cascading electrons from higher lying energies, have a huge influence to the dissipation of momentum and energy. This comes mainly from the band bending of the semiconductor, and from the electrons, which are excited in GaAs. The limitation of the silver layer on GaAs in one direction led to the expected generation of quantum well states (QWS) in the bandgap. Those adsorbate states have quantised energy- and momentum values, which are directly connected to the layer thickness and the standing electron wave therein. With the experiments of this work, published values could not only be completed and proved, but it could also be determined the time evolution of such a QWS. It came out that this QWS might only be filled by electrons, which are moving from the lower edge of the conduction band of the semiconductor to the silver and suffer cascading steps there. By means of the system silver on GaAs, and of the known fact that an excitation of electrons in GaAs with circularly polarised light of the energy 1.5eV does produce spin polarised electrons in the conduction band, it became possible to bring a contribution to the hot topic of spin injection. The main target of spin injection is the transfer of spin polarised electrons out of a ferromagnet into a semiconductor, in order to develop spin dependent switches and memories. It could be demonstrated here that spin polarised electrons from GaAs can move through the interface into silver, could be photoemitted from there and their spin was still being detectable. As a third investigation system, ultra-thin silver layers were deposited on the insulator MgO, which has a bandgap of 7.8eV. Also in this system, one could recognize a change in the relaxation time while reducing the dimension of the silver layer from thick to ultra-thin. Additionally, it came out an extreme large relaxation time at a layer thickness of 0.6 – 1.2nm. This time is an order of magnitude longer than at thick films, and this is a consequence of two factors: first, the reduction of the phase space due to the confined electron gas in the z-direction, and second, the slowlier thermalisation of the electron gas due to less accessible scattering partners.
The present work "Materwave Optics with Dark-state Polaritons: Applications to Interferometry and Quantum Information" deals in a broad sense with the subject of dark-states and in particular with the so-called dark-state polaritons introduced by M. Fleischhauer and M. D. Lukin. The dark-state polaritons can be regarded as a combined excitation of electromagnetic fields and spin/matter-waves. Within the framework of this thesis the special optical properties of the combined excitation are studied. On one hand a new procedure to spatially manipulate and to increase the excitation density of stored photons is described and on the other hand the properties are used to construct a new type of Sagnac Hybrid interferometer. The thesis is devided into four parts. In the introduction all notions necessary to understand the work are described, e.g.: electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), dark-state polaritons and the Sagnac effect. The second chapter considers the method developed by A. Andre and M. D. Lukin to create stationary light pulses in specially dressed EIT-media. In a first step a set of field equations is derived and simplified by introducing a new set of normal modes. The absorption of one of the normal modes leads to the phenomenon of pulse-matching for the other mode and thereby to a diffusive spreading of its field envelope. All these considerations are based on a homogeneous field setup of the EIT preparation laser. If this restriction is dismissed one finds that a drift motion is superimposed to the diffusive spreading. By choosing a special laser configuration the drift motion can be tailored such that an effective force is created that counteracts the spreading. Moreover, the force can not only be strong enough to compensate the diffusive spreading but also to exceed this dynamics and hence to compress the field envelope of the excitation. The compression can be discribed using a Fokker-Planck equation of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck type. The investigations show that the compression leads to an excitation of higher-order modes which decay very fast. In the last section of the chapter this exciation will be discussed in more detail and conditions will be given how the excitation of higher-order modes can be avoided or even suppressed. All results given in the chapter are supported by numerical simulatons. In the third chapter the matterwave optical properties of the dark-state polaritons will be studied. They will be used to construct a light-matterwave hybrid Sagnac interferometer. First the principle setup of such an interferometer will be sketched and the relevant equations of motion of light-matter interaction in a rotating frame will be derived. These form the basis of the following considerations of the dark-state polariton dynamics with and without the influence of external trapping potentials on the matterwave part of the polariton. It will be shown that a sensitivity enhancement compared to a passive laser gyroscope can be anticipated if the gaseous medium is initially in a superfluid quantum state in a ring-trap configuration. To achieve this enhancement a simultaneous coherence and momentum transfer is furthermore necessary. In the last part of the chapter the quantum sensitivity limit of the hybrid interferometer is derived using the one-particle density matrix equations incorporating the motion of the particles. To this end the Maxwell-Bloch equations are considered perturbatively in the rotation rate of the noninertial frame of reference and the susceptibility of the considered 3-level \(\Lambda\)-type system is derived in arbitrary order of the probe-field. This is done to determine the optimum operation point. With its help the anticipated quantum sensitivity of the light-matterwave hybrid Sagnac interferometer is calculated at the shot-noise limit and the results are compared to state-of-the-art laser and matterwave Sagnac interferometers. The last chapter of the thesis originates from a joint theoretical and experimental project with the AG Bergmann. This chapter does no longer consider the dark-state polaritons of the last two chapters but deals with the more general concept of dark states and in particular with the transient velocity selective dark states as introduced by E. Arimondo et al. In the experiment we could for the first time measure these states. The chapter starts with an introduction into the concept of velocity selective dark states as they occur in a \(\Lambda\)-configuration. Then we introduce the transient velocity selective dark-states as they occur in an particular extension of the \(\Lambda\)-system. For later use in the simulations the relevant equations of motion are derived in detail. The simulations are based on the solution of the generalized optical Bloch equations. Finally the experimental setup and procedure are explained and the theoretical and experimental results are compared.