Lasing Without Inversion in Mercury at 253.7 nm


The development of CW lasers in the VUV regime and below is technically very limited because the pump power required for population inversion scales with the fourth power of the laser frequency. Current methods to produce laser light in the VUV regime are mainly based on nonlinear effects.

Lasing without inversion (LWI) provides an alternative approach based on coherent excitation of atomic transitions. The technique was already successfully demonstrated with sodium [1] and rubidium [2].

4-level scheme in Hg


[1] E. S. Fry, X. Li, D. Nikonov, G. G. Padmabandu, M. O. Scully, A. V. Smith, F. K. Tittel, C. Wang, S. R. Wilkinson, and S.-Y. Zhu, “Atomic coherence effects within the sodium d1 line: Lasing without inversion via population trapping,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 3235–3238 (1993).

[2] A. S. Zibrov, M. D. Lukin, D. E. Nikonov, L. Hollberg, M. O. Scully, V. L. Velichansky, and H. G. Robinson, “Experimental demonstration of laser oscillation without population inversion via quantum interference in rb,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 1499–1502 (1995).


Prof. Dr. Thomas Walther

Laser und Quantenoptik
Institut für Angewandte Physik
Fachbereich 05 - Physik
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Schlossgartenstr. 7
D-64289 Darmstadt

+49 6151 16-20831 (Sekretariat)

+49 6151 16-20834 (Fax)




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