Repository logo
 

Theses and Dissertations

Permanent URI for this collection

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 113
  • ItemOpen Access
    Precision measurements on a single trapped beryllium ion
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Fairbank, David M., author; Brewer, Samuel M., advisor; Yost, Dylan, committee member; Sanner, Christian, committee member; Van Orden, Alan, committee member
    Precision laser spectroscopy of transitions in simple atoms can be used as a stringent test of many-body quantum electrodynamics (QED) calculations, or to extract subtle information about internal nuclear structure. 9Be+ is a three electron ion which has been the focus of study in ion trap and high energy beam experiments dating back several decades. We present the first measurements of the D-lines in 9Be+ using a single trapped ion, which reduced the experimental uncertainty of both the D1 and D2 transitions by an order of magnitude. A framework for characterization of systematic shifts due to effects like photon recoil and quantum interference in ion trap-based measurements of strong transitions is presented. From the D2 lineshape data, a 2P excited state lifetime was extracted with reduced uncertainty and better agreement with theory, compared to previous work. The first experimental measurement of the unresolved 2P3/2 hyperfine splittings is reported, which helped to uncover a sign error in the theoretical prediction of the 2P3/2 electric quadrupole hyperfine constant. This measurement required development of techniques to selectively isolate and measure the unresolved components, utilizing the exceptional state preparation and control available for trapped ions. The 1.25 GHz 2S1/2 ground state hyperfine splitting was measured with a relative uncertainty of 1.6×10−11 using microwave Ramsey spectroscopy and is in good agreement with previous measurements made in Penning traps at NIST. The technique can be extended to the rare isotope 7Be+, for which the current hyperfine constant uncertainty is four orders of magnitude larger. This planned measurement could enable extraction of an improved value of the 7Be nuclear Zemach radius. D-line measurements on the rare isotopes 7,10Be+ are also planned using the techniques developed for 9Be+. A comparison of the fine structure splitting across the isotope chain can be used to extract the relative nuclear charge radii or test the many-body QED contributions to theory in Li-like ions. A new ion trap was built and direct ablation loading of the ion trap from small 9BeCl2 salt deposits was demonstrated in preparation for loading the rare isotopes from evaporated aqueous solution.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Brillouin light scattering: a powerful tool for magnonics research
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Swyt, Mitchell S., author; Buchanan, Kristen S., advisor; Patton, Carl, committee member; Menoni, Carmen, committee member; Field, Stuart, committee member
    The slow down in generation-over-generation improvement in CMOS based logic and storage devices has spurred recent exploration into magnonic devices, those based on propagating perturbations of magnetic order called magnons, or spin waves. These devices are of particular interest due to their chargeless, low-power operation, scalability to the nanoscale, and compatibility with existing CMOS technologies. By exploiting spin waves, information may be transferred and operated upon without electrical currents. Magnetic textures like Neel domain walls, chiral transitions between magnetic domains, or skyrmions, magnetic vortices, represent additional avenues in magnonics for data storage and logic devices. Magnonic crystals, artificial crystals made by modulating magnetic properties in a periodic fashion, are one example of magnonic devices that have seen recent interest. With applicability in logic and signal processing, study of how spin waves propagate through these crystals is a necessity in the pursuit of new crystal designs. Brillouin light scattering (BLS) spectroscopy, an inelastic light scattering technique, is a powerful tool in this pursuit, as it allows for the spatial and temporal mapping of spin wave propagation. In this thesis, we will discuss three studies of spin waves by BLS: a 1D magnonic crystal, a 2D magnonic crystal, and a study of the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. First, time-resolved BLS was used to study the band gap formation in a 1D magnonic crystal. By mapping the propagation of spin wave pulses through the crystal, complex two dimensional interference patterns were observed. These patterns are ignored by the simple models used to understand the behavior of this crystal design, and we provide a model to calculate these patterns from the spin wave dispersion relation. The temporal development of interference that forms the basis for band gap formation in this system is also observed. Second, time-resolved BLS was used to study spin wave caustic beams in a 2D magnonic crystal. This crystal design represents a new regime in magnonic crystals, in which the patterning dimensions are much smaller than the spin wave wavelength and generate caustic beams. The formation of a narrow (3 MHz) wide rejection band is observed and the possible mechanisms, including edge effects and interference between caustic beams, are explored. Third, the temperature dependence of the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (iDMI) is measured in a Pt/Co film for temperatures ranging from 15 K to room temperature. Previous studies have been reported for temperatures above room temperature and this study serves to test theory over a greater range of temperatures. The iDMI parameter was quantitatively measured by measuring the frequency difference for counter-propagating surface spin waves by BLS. These three studies demonstrate that BLS is a versatile and powerful tool in the field of magnonics.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A study of the feasibility of detecting primordial microscopic black hole remnants with the NOvA far detector
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Wrobel, Megan, author; Buchanan, Norm, advisor; Berger, Josh, committee member; Adams, Henry, committee member
    Several papers have argued that microscopic black holes may be stable against complete evaporation and may be a viable dark matter candidate [1–3]. This paper assesses the practicality of detecting these objects using long-baseline neutrino facilities, such as the NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance (NOvA) experiment and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). The origin, stability, properties, and energy loss mechanism of such objects are examined. The signals produced from the detectors should allow for discrimination between these microscopic black holes and other particles traversing the detector. Potential challenges that could arise and next steps are also identified and considered.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Oblique pumping, resonance saturation, and spin wave instability processes in thin Permalloy films
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) Olson, Heidi M., author; Patton, Carl E., advisor
    The study of nonlinear dynamics in metal films is of increasing importance as advancements are made in magnetic recording. In this dissertation, these interactions are examined by the study of first order spin wave instability (SWI) processes that occur for external static magnetic fields well below ferromagnetic resonance (FMR), and second order SWI processes that occur for static fields over the full FMR field range. This work is concerned specifically with the study of the high power resonance saturation and oblique pumping responses in thin Permalloy films, the microwave threshold amplitudes at which the instabilities occur, and the theoretical analysis of the relevant SWI processes. To greatly increase measurement accuracy and reduce measurement time, the high power FMR system has been modified and new calibration techniques implemented. The modifications to the system allow for fully automated and calibrated microwave threshold amplitude vs. static field measurements, termed butterfly curves. Resonance saturation butterfly curves have been measured for an in-plane field configuration for 35 - 123 nm thin Permalloy films. The butterfly curves show a jump on the low field side associated with a low field shift of the FMR profile and a foldover like asymmetry development. Apart from the jump, the second order Suhl SWI theory, suitably modified for thin films, provides good fits to the butterfly curve data through the use of constant spin wave relaxation rates that are on the same order as expected for intrinsic magnon-electron scattering processes. The FMR in-plane precession cone angles at threshold are small. Oblique pumping butterfly curves have been measured at different in-plane field configurations for 104 and 123 nm thin Permalloy films. The butterfly curves show thickness dependent high field cutoffs that agree with the field points at which the bottom of the spin wave band moves above one half the pump frequency. A combination of parallel and perpendicular first order SWI theory, suitably modified for thin films, shows good fits to the data except at low fields where the thin film approximation is not applicable. The damping trial functions used for the fits correspond to magnon-electron and three-magnon scattering processes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The cosmic ray energy spectrum from 1-10 EXA electron volts measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Knapik, Robert, author; Harton, John L., advisor
    The observed decrease in flux of cosmic rays as the energy increases can be described by power law with an almost constant spectral index for 12 decades of energy. Observing spectral index changes are used to constrain models for the sources of cosmic rays. The Pierre Auger Observatory was built to study the highest energy cosmic rays and combines two complementary techniques, a fluorescence detector and a surface detector. The surface detector is 100% efficient for energies above 3 EeV allowing for a flux measurement with low systematic uncertainties. This thesis describes the techniques developed to measure the flux of cosmic rays below 3 EeV while maintaining low uncertainties. The resulting energy spectrum confirms the previously measured change in spectral index observed by other experiments. Systematic differences in the measured energy spectra between experiments exist. Possible reasons for these differences and the astrophysical implications are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Excited electronic state decomposition mechanisms and dynamics of nitramine energetic materials and model systems
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2007) Greenfield, Margo, author; Guo, Yuanqing, advisor; Bernstein, Elliot R., advisor
    Energetic materials play an important role in aeronautics, the weapon industry, and the propellant industry due to their broad applications as explosives and fuels. RDX (1,3,5-trinitrohexahydro-s-triazine), HMX (octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine), and CL- 20 (2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane)-j are compounds which contain high energy density (J/cm3) or (J/g). Although RDX and HMX have been studied extensively over the past several decades, a complete understanding of their decomposition mechanisms and dynamics is unknown. This work describes the novel approach taken to assist in the overall understanding of the decomposition of these energetic materials, namely their gas phase single molecule excited state decomposition. Excited electronic states can be generated by shock and compression and therefore play an important role in the initiation/decomposition of RDX, HMX, and CL-20. Energy (ns lasers) and time resolved (fs lasers) UV-photodissociation experiments have been performed to elucidate the mechanisms and dynamics of gas phase energetic material decomposition from excited electronic states. Time of flight mass spectroscopy (TOFMS), laser induced fluorescence (LIF), and pump-probe experiments performed on three energetic materials, as well as five model systems, illustrate the unique behavior of energetic materials. TOFMS UV photodissociation (ns) experiments of gas phase RDX, HMX, and CL-20 generate the NO molecule as the initial decomposition product. Four different vibronic transitions of the initial decomposition product, the NO molecule, are observed: A2Σ(υ'=0)<—X2Π(υ"=0,l,2,3). Simulations of the rovibronic intensities for the A<— Xtransitions demonstrate that NO dissociated from RDX, HMX, and CL-20 is rotationally cold (~ 20 K) and vibrationally hot (~ 1800 K). Conversely, experiments on the five model systems (nitromethane, dimethylnitramine, nitropyrrolidine, nitropiperidine and dinitropiperazine) produce rotationally hot and vibrationally cold NO spectra. LIF experiments are performed to rule out the possible decomposition product OH, generated along with NO, perhaps from the suggested HONO elimination mechanism. The OH radical is not observed in the fluorescence experiments, indicatingthe HONO decomposition intermediate is not an important pathway for the excited electronic state decomposition of cyclic nitramines. The NO molecule is also employed to measure the dynamics of the excited statedecomposition. A 226 nm, 180 fs light pulse is utilized to photodissociate the gas phase systems. Stable ion states of DMNA and nitropyrrolidine are observed while the energetic materials and remaining model systems present the NO molecule as the only observed product. Pump-probe transients of the resonant A<—X (0-0) transition of the NO molecule show a constant signal indicating these materials decompose faster than the time duration of the 226 nm laser light. Comparison of NO from the three energetic materials to NO from NO2 gas generated by a 180 fs light pulse at 226 nm indicates that NO2 is not an intermediate product of the excited electronic state photodissociation of RDX, HMX, or CL-20. Two possible excited state decomposition mechanisms are suggested for the three energetic materials. The first mechanism involves a dissociative excited electronic statein which the nitramine moieties (CNNO2) in the electronically excited energetic material isomerize (CNONO) and further dissociate. In the second possible decomposition mechanism the electronically excited molecules undergo internal conversion to very highly excited (~5 eV of vibrational energy) vibrational states of their ground electronic state. Once in the ground state, isomerization of the nitramine moieties occurs and thematerial further decomposes. Calculational results together with the experimental results indicate the energetic materials decompose according to the second mechanism, relaxation to the ground state, while the model systems follow the excited electronic state decomposition pathway. An additional path in which the -NO2 moiety loses an O atom, becomes linear with the CN attachment, and then NO is released, is also consistent with experimental observations but is, as yet, not supported by calculations. The keys to generating better cyclic nitramine energetic materials would then beto enhance the propensity to form Si - So conical intersections, improve Si - So Franck-Condon factors for internal conversion near the Si zero point level, and to enhance the So density of vibronic states at high So vibrational energy. Additionally, one would like to generate NO with less internal vibrational excitation, so altering the NONO vibrational excitation in the dissociation process could be important. These ideas would suggest that more flexible cyclic nitramines, with increased internal degrees of freedom, might be useful to explore for new energetic systems. Perhaps larger ring structures along the lines of CL-20 might be useful compounds to explore.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Development of a very compact high repetition rate soft x-ray laser
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Furch, Federico Juan Antonio, author; Rocca, Jorge J., advisor; Marconi, Mario, advisor
    Over the last 25 years, the field of soft x-ray lasers has evolved from facility size devices delivering a few shots per day, to table-top lasers operating at several shots per second. In these lasers the gain medium is a highly ionized, hot and dense plasma created by a sequence of short, high energy pulses from an optical laser. Current table-top soft x-ray lasers have enabled numerous applications such as nano-scale imaging, nano-fabrication and dense plasma diagnosis among others. However these lasers are still limited in repetition rate, and therefore average power, owing to thermal effects originated in the flash lamp pumped amplifiers of the optical driver laser. Direct diode-pumping of the driver laser opens the possibility of developing more compact, higher repetition rate optical laser systems to pump soft x-ray lasers. Directly pumping small quantum defect materials such as Yb:YAG with a narrow bandwidth source of the optimum wavelength allows to significantly increase the efficiency and then reduce the thermal load in the gain materials. In addition, cryogenic cooling of the laser materials significantly improves their thermal performance. This approach will allow for soft x-ray laser operation at much higher repetition rates. In this work I present the results of the demonstration of an all diode-pumped soft x-ray laser that constitutes the first of a new generation of more compact, higher repetition rate soft x-ray lasers in the spectral region between 10 and 20 nm. To pump these lasers we developed an all diode-pumped chirped pulse amplification laser system based on cryogenically cooled Yb:YAG. This optical laser generates pulses of 1 J of energy in 8.5 ps pulses at 10 Hz, the highest energy per pulse for sub-10 ps pulses from a diode-pumped system at the present time. This soft x-ray laser has the potential to operate at unsurpassed repetition rates in a reduced footprint.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Soft x-ray laser interferometry of dense plasmas
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2007) Filevich, Jorge, author; Rocca, Jorge J. G., advisor
    This Dissertation presents the results of the study of plasmas using soft x-ray laser interferometry. The use of soft x-ray wavelengths (14.7 nm and 46.9 nm) permits probing plasmas that are denser and that have steeper density gradients than those that can be probed using optical interferometry. The use of diffraction gratings as beam splitters permitted the construction of a novel interferometer design that is robust, stable and with high throughput. The measurements conducted include the first demonstration of soft x-ray laser interferometry with picosecond resolution. The first set of results presented herein are the observation of an unexpected on-axis density depression in narrow-focus laser-created plasmas. It is caused by plasma-radiation-induced ablation of target material outside of the region irradiated by the plasma-heating laser. This colder material expands at a slower velocity than the hotter central region, resulting in the observed on-axis density depression. The effect is shown to be a general phenomenon, present in many narrow focus plasmas under different irradiation conditions. The second set of results unveiled the significant contribution of bound electrons to the index of refraction of multiply ionized plasmas. Experiments that mapped the density of aluminum plasmas using a λ=14.7 nm laser beam showed interference fringes that bent in the direction opposite to that expected, contradicting the widely accepted assumption that the index of refraction for multiply ionized plasmas at soft x-ray wavelengths only depends on the free electrons. The contribution of bound electrons to the index of refraction is shown to be significant, and to affect a broad range of wavelengths due to numerous bound-bound and bound-free transitions present in the plasma. Moreover, the contribution of bound electrons to the index of refraction was shown to be important in several materials at different probe soft x-ray wavelengths, in particular for tin, silver and carbon plasmas probed at λ=46.9 nm. This fundamental result affects not only the interpretation of soft x-ray interferograms for plasma density measurements, but also the propagation of soft x-ray light in plasmas in general.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effects of contact-based non-uniformities in cadmium sulfide/cadmium telluride thin-film solar cells
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) Davies, Alan R., author; Sites, James R., advisor
    To strongly contribute to the near-term electricity supply, CdTe-based photovoltaic devices must continue to improve in performance under the constraint of simple and cost efficient fabrication methods. This dissertation focuses on characterization and modeling of devices with non-uniform performance induced by the cell contacts. Devices were obtained from a commercially viable pilot-scale fabrication system at Colorado State University. Current versus voltage (J-V), quantum efficiency (QE) and laser-beam-induced current (LBIC) were the main characterization techniques applied in this work. The p-type CdTe semiconductor has a large work-function and thus tends to form a Schottky barrier when the back-electrode is formed. A common strategy of mitigating the performance-limiting contact barrier is to prepare the CdTe surface with a chemical etch, and include Cu to reduce the effective barrier. Non-uniformity of the etch or Cu inclusion, or insufficient application of Cu can result in a non-uniform contact, with regions of high- and low-energy Schottky barriers participating in the cell performance. Barrier non-uniformities in devices with little or no Cu were identified with the LBIC measurement and a model for their influence was developed and tested using PSpice circuit modeling software. Because of their superstrate configuration, CdTe cells feature front contacts made from transparent-conducting oxides (TCOs). Fluorine-doped tin oxide (F:SnO2) is a common choice because of its availability and acceptable optical and electrical properties. When the n-CdS layer of the CdS/CdTe structure is thinned to encourage greater current generation, non-uniformities of the solar cell junction arise, as CdTe comes into sporadic contact with the TCO layer. Device simulations suggest that the SnO2/CdTe junction is weaker than CdS/CdTe because of a large conduction-band offset induced by the differing electron affinities in the heterojunction. LBIC was used to verify increasing non-uniformity in devices with thin CdS and whole-cell performance followed the trends predicted by simulations. An empirical relationship between CdS thickness and relative influence the weaker junction was developed. The practical limit of CdS thickness was determined to be about 120 nm for CSU devices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mesospheric momentum flux studies over Fort Collins CO (41N, 105W)
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Acott, Phillip Edward, author; She, Chiao Yao, advisor; Krueger, David A., advisor
    System upgrades to the Colorado State University Sodium Lidar have enabled over 300 hours of night-time gravity wave momentum flux measurements with concurrent 24-hour measurements of the mean and tidal wind and temperature fields of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere above Fort Collins, CO. Results include the vertical profile of nighttime zonal momentum flux divided by density (MF/ρ), as well as nighttime wind and temperature variances; the results also provide some insight into the accompanying gravity wave-tidal interactions.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Molecular dynamics simulation studies and experimental measurements of radiofrequency heating for strongly coupled and extremely magnetized ultracold neutral plasmas
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Jiang, Puchang, author; Roberts, Jacob L., advisor; Yost, Dylan, committee member; Lee, Siu Au, committee member; Yalin, Azer, committee member
    Ultracold neutral plasmas(UNPs) are good experimental platforms for fundamental plasma physics studies because of their experimentally adjustable parameters, accessible timescales, ability to enter the strong coupling parameter regime, and easy access to large degrees of electron magnetization. The work in this thesis contains both simulation and experimental studies of UNPs. One simulation project describes a new UNP heating mechanism discovered using Molecular Dynamics simulations: DC electric field heating. This DC electric field heating mechanism occurs when a DC electric field is present when the plasma is formed. sets a lower limit of how cold UNP electron temperatures can be reached experimentally. A second simulation project investigates a many-body physics effect on collisional damping in UNPs and a breakdown in standard plasma theory treatments when the plasma is approaching the strongly coupled regime. This breakdown arises due to the increasing significance of three- or many-body electron-ion interactions influencing the plasma transport properties and particle collisions. My simulations find evidence for this being the case. Experimental studies of UNP electron-ion collision physics during the application of high-frequency RF electric fields to the UNP were conducted, and measurements of the RF-induced electron heating rate from the weak magnetized regime to extremely magnetized regime were performed. The results obtained are in qualitative agreement with the theory prediction but there's quantitative disagreement. Possibilities for resolving this disagreement are presented.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A measurement of muon neutrino charged-current interactions with a charged pion in the final state using the NOνA near detector
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Rojas, Paul Nelson, author; Buchanan, Norm, advisor; Lee, Siu Au, committee member; Harton, John, committee member; Kokoszka, Piotr, committee member
    The NOνA experiment is a long-baseline neutrino experiment hosted by Fermilab. The intense NuMI neutrino beam, combined with NOνA Near Detector, provides the opportunity to study neutrino interactions at an unprecedented level. The goal of this analysis is to measure the rate of muon-neutrino charged-current interactions in the NOνA near detector resulting in the production of one muon and at least one charged pion. This thesis will present the result of the double differential cross section measurement of this process in muon kinematics of energy and angle. Excesses in the extracted signal (greater than 25%), relative to the simulation, were found at large scattering angles. These excesses were greater than the estimated uncertainties (∼15%).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Spin wave characterization in a 1D YIG magnonic crystal
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Compton, Lia, author; Buchanan, Kristen, advisor; Harton, John, committee member; Prieto, Amy, committee member
    In this thesis, I will analyze and discuss features of spin wave propagation characteristics measured in a one-dimensional (1D) yttrium iron garnet (YIG) magnonic crystal using time-resolved Brillouin light scattering (TR-BLS) measurements. Magnonic crystals are a promising candidate to aid in developing spin-based devices that exploit the spin of the electron since magnonic crystals can be used to control the information transmitted by spin waves. In magnonic crystals, periodic modulation of the material properties is used to create a band structure and hence allow or suppress the propagation of spin waves with specific frequencies. To better understand spin wave propagation in a 1D YIG magnonic crystal, (TR-BLS) measurements were used to map out the temporal and spatial evolution of spin wave pulses at different frequencies. By analyzing the TR-BLS data with a cross-correlation method, the group velocities were determined at different frequencies and a better understanding of the changes in the pulse shape is gained. The TR-BLS data show that multiple width-quantized spin wave modes are present and highlights the importance of considering the two-dimensional nature of spin wave propagation, even in a one-dimensional system.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A measurement of the double-differential electron antineutrino charged-current inclusive cross section in the NOvA near detector
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Doyle, Derek, author; Buchanan, Norm, advisor; Gelfand, Martin, committee member; Harton, John, committee member; Norman, Andrew, committee member; Pouchet, Louis-Noël, committee member
    The neutrino is a fundamental particle of the universe that was first hypothesized in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli to explain the observed energy distribution of outgoing electrons produced from beta-decay. Since then, it has been discovered that there are at least three types, or flavors, of neutrinos and that they oscillate between these flavors as they travel through space and time. This discovery proved that neutrinos have a non-zero mass and positioned neutrino oscillations to provide a window into understanding the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe. Principle to all neutrino measurements is an accurate and robust interaction model over a large range of energies, and measurements to support the model. Of particular importance to the NuMI Off-axis νe Appearance (NOvA) neutrino oscillation experiment is the energy range from 1 to 10 GeV, where Quasi-Elastic (QE), Meson-Exchange Current (MEC), and Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS) interactions all contribute significantly. Using neutrinos from the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) beam and the NOvA near detector, the first double-differential electron antineutrino charged-current inclusive cross section is measured and compared to various interaction models implemented within the genie Generator framework, version 3. Good agreement is observed between measurement and a genie model tuned to NOvA data.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Optical lattice deceleration of a cryogenic metastable atomic hydrogen beam
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Cooper, Samuel F., author; Yost, Dylan C., advisor; Roberts, Jacob L., committee member; Gelfand, Martin, committee member; Van Orden, Alan, committee member
    Hydrogen is the most abundant and simple naturally occurring element in existence, making it an ideal platform for study of fundamental atomic physics. Theoretical physics has the capacity of making extraordinarily precise predictions of atomic hydrogen's energy levels, owing to hydrogen's innate simplicity. To provide valuable new information to the theoretical models, such as definitions of fundamental constants, requires pushing experimental measurement of these energy levels to extreme precision, and obtaining experimental values that agree or disagree with theory provide a rigorous test of fundamental physics. Unfortunately, hydrogen has yet to benefit from the advent of laser cooling and trapping techniques pioneered in other species due to the prohibitive ultraviolet wavelengths required. As a consequence, modern best measurements to-date are limited by uncertainties due to thermal energies of atomic hydrogen samples. The next generation of ultra-high precision experiments will require new ways to obtain slow and or cold atomic hydrogen. This work contains progress made towards this goal, where advent of a novel high power UV radiation source on this experiment opened the viability for exploring new horizons. Specifically detailed in this dissertation are the efforts toward generating a cryogenic helium temperature beam of metastable (2S) atomic hydrogen with velocity characterization and a first ever demonstration of a novel, all-optical deceleration method which utilizes an electro-optically controlled far detuned optical lattice. In the proof-of-principle experiment a velocity selected portion of the atomic hydrogen beam was decelerated from 300 ms–1 to 280 ms–1 in a single 30 ns optical pulse.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Investigation of laser cooling and trapping of atomic silicon: towards the development of a deterministic single ion source
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Ronald, Samuel R., author; Lee, Siu Au, advisor; Fairbank, William M., Jr., advisor; Rocca, Jorge J., committee member; Marconi, Mario C., committee member
    The laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping of silicon atoms were investigated experimentally. These are the first steps towards the development of a deterministic single ion source suitable for single ion implantation of a Kane quantum computer. We identified the 3s23p2 3P2 → 3s3p3 3Do3 transition at 221.74nm as a cycling transition suitable for laser cooling. We also identified the 3s23p2 1D2 → 3s3p3 3Do3 at 256.26nm as a repump transition coupling a lower metastable state with the upper cooling state. Two deep ultraviolet (DUV) laser systems were implemented to provide the cooling and repump laser light. Both systems utilized two stage second harmonic generation to quadruple the frequency of a fundamental laser to produce the DUV light. The cooling laser system utilized frequency quadrupling of a tunable cw Ti:Sapphire ring laser to produce up to 90mW at 221.74nm. The repump laser system utilized frequency quadrupling of an external cavity diode laser to produce up to 35mW at 256.26nm. A silicon atomic beam source operating at 1400°C was developed that produced a beam of free silicon atoms for laser studies. The atomic beam characteristics were analyzed, and the velocity distribution was manipulated via laser cooling. Careful spectroscopic studies were performed on the cooling and repump transitions. Frequency references for the DUV lasers were investigated in Te2 and I2 with Doppler free saturated absorption spectroscopy, using the first doubling stage output of the cooling and repump laser, respectively. Specific hyperfine components of the molecular transitions in Te2 and I2, suitable for frequency references, were identified and measured. Locking of the cooling laser on the Te2 reference was demonstrated. A magneto-optic trap (MOT) was implemented in the silicon atomic beam. A CCD optical system to image the fluorescence from atoms in the MOT was developed and achieved single atom ii detection capability. MOT trapping of silicon atoms was attempted. The low flux of atoms in the MOT velocity capture range precluded any observation of trapped atoms. A Zeeman slower, based on a novel design utilizing a variable pitch helical solenoid, was designed, simulated, and constructed to improve the flux of slow atoms. No magneto-optic trap was observed due to insufficient laser power for simultaneous Zeeman slowing and magneto-optic trapping. Investigations were performed for one dimensional laser cooling, via a Zeeman slower, along the atomic beam motion direction. Atomic beam velocity distribution profiles were observed to be modified when the Zeeman slower was on. The parameter space of Zeeman slower currents, laser power and detuning, was explored. A simulation of the atom motion over the 1m long flight path under the influence of the Zeeman slower was carried out and found to agree with the observed results.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Luminescence measurements inform a strategy for unlocking the full potential of CdTe-based photovoltaics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Jundt, Pascal M., author; Sites, James R., advisor; Sampath, Walajabad S., committee member; Yost, Dylan C., committee member; Gelfand, Martin P., committee member; Kuciauskas, Darius, committee member
    Cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics are characterized by simplicity and speed of fabrication with low usage of materials, all of which translate into low cost. These significant advantages have earned CdTe the second-highest adoption rate of all photovoltaic technologies. However, conversion efficiencies, while functional, are significantly lower than the theoretical limit for this material. This discrepancy is almost entirely a discrepancy in voltage, and the so-called "voltage deficit" of CdTe has stubbornly persisted for decades. While many strategies are being pursued to attempt to reduce the voltage deficit, this issue is fundamentally one of excessive nonradiative recombination due to defects within the absorber material, as will be demonstrated in this dissertation. Recombination is evaluated primarily by luminescence measurements, and as such this class of measurements is particularly relevant to the challenges faced by CdTe research today. The rate of recombination is parameterized by the carrier lifetime, and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) is the most common method of determining this parameter in CdTe. Historically, accurate determination of bulk lifetime was as simple as extracting the time constant of the slowest component of a TRPL decay. However, significant gains in material passivation and doping over the last few years have both decreased the relative influence of trap-assisted recombination and increased the influence of p-n junction fields on TRPL measurements. Consequently, when measurements are performed on complete cells, extracting the tail time constant from a TRPL decay no longer necessarily gives an accurate representation of the bulk material lifetime, and the result is distorted by field effect contributions. This fact is not necessarily well-known by the CdTe community, and extraction of the tail time constant is still the most common way to report lifetimes, even in measurements on complete state-of-the-art cells. This dissertation demonstrates the skewing effects of junction fields, and identifies under which conditions they manifest and how. To probe field effects, external electrical bias was incorporated during TRPL measurements, which allows fairly precise manipulation of fields. Biased TRPL measurements were performed on a variety of samples, and a model was developed to substantiate and better explain the results. It was found that the same characteristics which enable good performance (high lifetime, doping, and mobility) are the same which add complexity to TRPL interpretation. It was also found that field effects can be effectively suppressed by significant forward bias, leading to far more accurate determination of bulk lifetime. TRPL and external radiative efficiency (ERE) luminescence measurement results have indicated very low rates of nonradiative recombination and associated very high lifetime for some CdTe-based materials deposited at Colorado State University, particularly the cadmium selenium telluride (CdSeTe) alloy. While these attributes should allow voltages approaching 1 V and efficiencies on the order of 25%, when incorporated into "traditional" cell architectures these materials typically achieve middling performance at best, and often no performance at all. To unlock the great potential indicated by luminescence measurements, a different cell architecture is proposed which aims to accommodate these materials and take advantage of their characteristics. In an n-i-p configuration, an intrinsic absorber material is sandwiched between two carrier-selective contacts, at least one of which must be transparent. This design eliminates the requirement that the absorber be doped, which penalizes lifetime. Based on the findings of modeling reported here, undoped CdSeTe appears to be an ideal intrinsic layer material. The currently-utilized SnO2:F/MgZnO front contact appears to be excellent as the n-type electron-selective layer. The one missing component is the p-type hole-selective layer; modeling in this dissertation describes in detail what attributes are required of this material. Most important is band alignment with CdSeTe, which should produce a valence band offset as close to zero as possible, and a conduction band offset which forms a sufficiently high electron barrier. Sufficient p-type doping is also quite important. Based on these criteria, ZnTe was identified as a suitable candidate material, and several cells were fabricated with this architecture. While preliminary cells achieved relatively poor performance compared with traditional designs, J-V curves were surprisingly well-behaved, and the almost immediate achievement of functioning cells using an entirely new approach is promising. Luminescence characterization of these structures identified several areas for improvement, namely the use of a p-type dopant other than copper and the replacement of ZnTe with another material with similar band structure but more compatible lattice constant.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Development of a liquid argon purity monitoring system
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Fogarty, Samuel J., author; Harton, John, advisor; Mooney, Michael, committee member; Menoni, Carmen, committee member
    Liquid argon time-projection chambers (LArTPCs) are used to detect charged particles and measure their properties. Charged particles that pass through the liquid argon (LAr) in a LArTPC ionize and excite argon atoms, producing ionization electrons and prompt scintillation light. The ionization electrons drift through the LAr volume in a uniform electric field and produce a signal at the anode. The scintillation light is used to determine the drift coordinate of an event, which allows for 3D reconstruction of tracks and interactions. Electro-negative impurities lead to the reduction of the ionization electrons and scintillation light. They worsen a detector's ability to perform event reconstruction by reducing the signal-to-noise ratios. A purity monitor is a device that is often used alongside LArTPCs to monitor the LAr purity. It extracts electrons from a photo-cathode via the photoelectric effect and drifts them through LAr to an anode using an electric field. When traversing the purity monitor, some of the electrons will be lost due to impurities along the way. As a result, the drift-electron lifetime, which is related to the LAr impurity concentration, can be determined by measuring the difference in charge between the cathode and anode. This method allows for continuous purity monitoring of the LAr used in a LArTPC. This thesis describes the development and testing of a purity monitoring system that is used in conjunction with a LArTPC at Colorado State University.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Precision measurement and symmetry properties of metastable hydrogen
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Rasor, Cory M., author; Yost, Dylan, advisor; Roberts, Jacob, committee member; Mooney, Michael, committee member; Bartels, Randy, committee member
    Hydrogen has been an indispensable system to study during the development of quantum mechanics due to the simplicity of its atomic structure. Hydrogen maintains its utility today as an important tool for determining fundamental values such as the Rydberg and fine structure constants, as well as the proton charge radius. The work described in this thesis aims to use hydrogen for determining the proton Zemach radius, to search for anomalous spin-dependent forces, and to provide means for measuring the degree of parity violation within this simple system. An overview of a 2S1/2 hyperfine interval measurement is described, followed by a description of the apparatus used and finally a discussion of the systematic effects to be characterized. A proposed parity violation experiment is also described.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Search for an anomalous excess of charged-current electron neutrino interactions with the MicroBooNE detector
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Caro Terrazas, Ivan, author; Mooney, Michael R., advisor; Wilson, Robert J., committee member; Buchanan, Norm, committee member; Kirby, Michael, committee member
    MicroBooNE is a liquid argon time projection chamber detector designed to address the excess of low-energy electromagnetic events observed by the MiniBooNE detector. Electron neutrinos can create a wide variety of topologies when interacting with liquid argon; this analysis measures events without pions, both with (1eNp0π) and without (1e0p0π) visible protons. This thesis presents a first measurement of pionless charged-current electron neutrino interactions from the Booster Neutrino Beam at Fermilab in the MicroBooNE detector. A model based on the MiniBooNE result is used to quantify the strength of the electron neutrino excess. The analysis suggests that if an excess is present, it is not consistent with a simple scaling of the electronneutrino contribution to the flux. Combined, the 1eNp0π and 1e0p0π channels do not give a conclusive indication of the tested model, but separately they both disfavor the low-energy excess model at > 90% CL. The observation in the most sensitive 1eNp0π channel is below the prediction and is consistent with no excess. In the less sensitive 1e0p0π channel the observation at low energy is above the prediction, while overall there is agreement over the full energy spectrum.