Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 6, September 2004
Page(s) 983 - 989
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 September 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (6), pp. 983-989 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10141-6

Light-induced atomic desorption from porous silica

A. Burchianti1, C. Marinelli1, A. Bogi1, J. Brewer2, K. Rubahn2, H.-G. Rubahn2, F. Della Valle3, E. Mariotti1, V. Biancalana1, S. Veronesi1 and L. Moi1

1  INFM UdR di Siena, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Siena via Roma 56, I-53100 Siena, Italy
2  Syddansk Universitet, Fysisk Institut - Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
3  Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trieste - via A. Valerio 2, I-34127 Trieste, Italy

(Received 27 April 2004; accepted in final form 8 July 2004)

Huge light-induced rubidium atom desorption has been observed from porous silica samples placed inside Pyrex cells kept at room temperature. The desorption rate and the maximum vapour density change have been measured as a function of the desorbing light intensity. Their values are comparable with those recently obtained in Pyrex cells coated with organic films. A linear dependence of the desorption rate and a square-root dependence of the maximum density increase on light intensity indicate that diffusion inside the glass pores is a key mechanism. The application of this effect to develop light-controlled atomic dispensers compatible with high vacuum environment is discussed.

68.43.Tj - Photon stimulated desorption.
32.80.Pj - Optical cooling of atoms; trapping.

© EDP Sciences 2004