Hypersonic nozzle for laser-spectroscopy studies at 17 K characterized by resonance-ionization-spectroscopy-based flow mapping

R. Ferrer, M. Verlinde, E. Verstraelen, A. Claessens, M. Huyse, S. Kraemer, Yu. Kudryavtsev, J. Romans, P. Van den Bergh, V.I. Kalikmanov

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Abstract

The in-gas-jet laser spectroscopy method relies on the production of uniform and low-temperature gas jets to fully resolve the atomic hyperfine structure and efficiently determine fundamental nuclear properties of short-lived isotopes from, e.g., the hardly accessible actinide and transactinide elements. In this article we present the studies devoted to designing, producing, and characterizing the flow properties of a convergent-divergent (de Laval) hypersonic nozzle with a superior performance for laser spectroscopy applications. A novel flow mapping technique, based on resonance ionization spectroscopy (RIS), has been employed to characterize the local flow properties of an argon gas jet formed by this nozzle, revealing a 61.5-mm long, highly collimated atomic jet at a uniform low temperature of 16.6(5) K [Mach 8.11(12)] that will enable laser spectroscopy experiments on heavy-exotic nuclei with an unprecedented spectral resolution and a high efficiency. These results have been compared with those obtained by planar laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy (PLIFS) studies and show a good agreement between the two techniques and a significant improvement in efficiency of the RIS mapping method with respect to PLIFS. The data are compared to state-of-the-art fluid-dynamics calculations that were carried out to obtain the nozzle contour and simulate its performance, as well as to explain the observation of a possible onset of argon nucleation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043041
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical Review Research
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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