Dessovic, P, Mohn, P, Jackson, RA, Winkler, G, Schreitl, M, Kazakov, G and Schumm, T (2014) 229Thorium-doped calcium fluoride for nuclear laser spectroscopy. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 26 (10). 105402 -105402. ISSN 1361-648X

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The (229)thorium isotope presents an extremely low-energy isomer state of the nucleus which is expected around 7.8 eV, in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) regime. This unique system may bridge between atomic and nuclear physics, enabling coherent manipulation and precision spectroscopy of nuclear quantum states using laser light. It has been proposed to implant (229)thorium into VUV transparent crystal matrices to facilitate laser spectroscopy and possibly realize a solid-state nuclear clock. In this work, we validate the feasibility of this approach by computer modelling of thorium doping into calcium fluoride single crystals. Using atomistic modelling and full electronic structure calculations, we find a persistent large band gap and no additional electronic levels emerging in the middle of the gap due to the presence of the dopant, which should allow direct optical interrogation of the nuclear transition.Based on the electronic structure, we estimate the thorium nuclear quantum levels within the solid-state environment. Precision laser spectroscopy of these levels will allow the study of a broad range of crystal field effects, transferring Mössbauer spectroscopy into the optical regime.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Uncontrolled Keywords: nuclear clock, calcium fluoride, thorium isomer, thorium doping, nuclear spectroscopy, VASP, GULP
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 08:56
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2018 11:23

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