Volume 68, Number 4, November 2004
|Page(s)||480 - 486|
|Section||Atomic and molecular physics|
|Published online||22 October 2004|
High nuclear polarization of at low and high pressure by metastability exchange optical pumping at tesla
Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Ecole Normale Supérieure 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France (Laboratoire Kastler Brossel is a unité de recherche de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure et de l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie, associée au CNRS (UMR 8552).)
2 U2R2M, Université Paris-Sud and CIERM, Hôpital de Bicêtre 94275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre Cedex, France (U2R2M (Unité de Recherche en Résonance Magnétique Médicale) is a unité de recherche de l'Université Paris-Sud, associée au CNRS (UMR 8081).)
Accepted: 21 September 2004
Metastability exchange optical pumping of helium-3 is performed in a strong magnetic field of 1.5. The achieved nuclear polarizations, between 80% at 1.33 and 25% at 67, show a substantial improvement at high pressures with respect to standard low-field optical pumping. The specific mechanisms of metastability exchange optical pumping at high field are investigated, advantages and intrinsic limitations are discussed. From a practical point of view, these results open the way to alternative technological solutions for polarized helium-3 applications and in particular for magnetic-resonance imaging of human lungs.
PACS: 32.80.Bx – Level crossing and optical pumping / 67.65.+z – Spin-polarized hydrogen and helium / 87.61.-c – Magnetic resonance imaging
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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