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High-resolution broad-bandwidth Fourier-transform absorption spectroscopy in the VUV range down to 40 nm


Vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) high-resolution absorption spectroscopy is a unique tool for the study of gas-phase atomic and molecular electronic structure. To date, it has been performed by using lasers or synchrotron radiation-based grating spectrometers, but none of these techniques can offer simultaneous high resolution, wavelength accuracy and broad tunability. The only technique combining these three important features is Fourier-transform spectroscopy, but this is limited to the mid-UV range (down to 140 nm; ref. 1) because of a lack of beamsplitters. Here, we present a new instrument based on a wavefront-division scanning interferometer, applied for the first time to the VUV range. This instrument, coupled to the DESIRS beamline at synchrotron SOLEIL, covers a broad range of wavelengths (typically 7%, adjustable in the 250–40 nm range), a resolving power of 1 × 106, an extrinsic absolute wavelength accuracy of 1 × 10−7 and a high signal-to-noise ratio.

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Figure 1: VUV scanning wavefront-division interferometer.
Figure 2: Krypton absorption spectrum showing the Rydberg series converging towards the 4p−1 (2P3/2) and (2P1/2) ionization limits.
Figure 3: Helium photoabsorption cross-section using the free expansion jet set-up.


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This work was supported by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche; grant 05-BLAN-0364). The authors acknowledge the invaluable skill of the Optical Surface and Component group from the Laboratoire Charles Fabry for fabrication of the optical parts and metrology. Warm thanks go to B. Pilette and J.-F. Gil for their contribution to the conception and mounting of the sample chamber, as well as M. Vervloet (Synchrotron SOLEIL) and K. Ito (Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan) for fruitful discussions on spectroscopic issues. The authors are also grateful to the general technical staff of the synchrotron SOLEIL facility.

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N.d.O., D.J., D.P. and J.C.R. designed and built the Fourier transform instrument. N.d.O., D.J. and L.N. designed the whole absorption facility set-up, including the beamline coupling and the sample chamber. N.d.O., M.R. and D.J. performed the experiments and analysed the data. L.N. supervised the scientific coherence of the Fourier transform project. N.d.O., D.J., L.N. wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nelson de Oliveira.

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de Oliveira, N., Roudjane, M., Joyeux, D. et al. High-resolution broad-bandwidth Fourier-transform absorption spectroscopy in the VUV range down to 40 nm. Nature Photon 5, 149–153 (2011).

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