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Refractive index measurements of solid parahydrogen

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Abstract

Solid para-H2 is a promising gain medium for stimulated Raman scattering, due to its high number density and narrow Raman linewidth. In preparation for the design of a cw solid hydrogen Raman laser, we have made the first measurements, to our knowledge, of the index of refraction of a solid para-H2 crystal, in the wavelength range of 4301100nm. For a crystal stabilized at 4.4K, this refractive index is measured to be npH2=1.130±0.001 at 514nm. A slight, but significant, dependence on the final crystal-growth temperature is observed, with higher npH2 at higher crystal-growth temperatures. Once a crystal is grown, it can be heated up to 10K with no change in npH2. The refractive index varies only slightly over the observed wavelength range, and no significant birefringence was observed.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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