Spectral tailoring of inhomogeneously broadened absorption profiles with notch-filtered light

Manipulation of absorption spectra of inhomogeneously broadened media [1-3] has great importance for various spectroscopic investigations and quantum information processing applications [4]. In particular, the creation of narrow absorption lines on a non-absorbing background has attracted a lot of interest, as it allows the interaction of coherent light with selected subgroups of atomic and molecular centers. We propose a novel technique for the generation of such lines. This technique is based on optical pumping with incoherent, notch-filtered light that is provided from the back reflection of broad band light on a Fabry-Perot cavity. In this approach, all atoms in a large spectral interval, except some subgroups within narrow frequency ranges whose transition frequencies match the notch frequencies, are excited at the same time. Provided a suitable atomic shelving level exists, a sufficiently long interaction time results in a tailored absorption profile that consists of narrow absorption lines on a non-absorbing background. We will present the results of a theoretical analysis, and discuss possible experimental realizations of this technique with rare-earth-ion doped crystals at cryogenic temperatures. [1] M. Nilsson, L. Rippe, and S. Kröll, R. Clieber and D. Suter, Phys. Rev. B 70, 214116 (2004) [2] G. J. Pryde, M. J. Sellars, and N. B. Manson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 1152 (2000). [3] F. de Seze, V. Lavielle, I. Lorgere, and J. L. Le Gouet, Opt. Commun. 223, 321 (2003). [4] W. Tittel et al., Laser & Phot. Rev. DOI 10.1002/lpor.200810056.