Resonance Ionization of Zirconium


Measuring the isotopic composition of trace Zr in presolar stardust grains allows us to study the environment of slow neutron-capture nucleosynthesis in asymptotic giant branch stars. Here, we present a newly characterized Zr resonance ionization scheme that can be saturated with state-of-the-art titanium-sapphire lasers and yields a useful yield of (5.4 ± 0.4)%. Resonance ionization is achieved in two steps: after first being excited with a photon at 319.215nm, neutral Zr atoms are then ionized with a photon at 388.988nm, where both wavelengths are reported as in vacuum.

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry