High-resolution spectroscopy of liquid water with dispersive atomic vapor prism cell

Boris S. Leonov, Robert T. Randolph, Anuj Rekhy, Arthur Dogariu, Richard B. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents an experimental demonstration of a spectroscopic method based on the dispersion of the scattering spectrum from laser-illuminated liquid water collected through a rubidium atomic vapor prism cell. Resonant absorption at 780 nm suppresses Mie/Rayleigh scattering and the steep gradients in refractive index near the 780 nm absorption lines separate Brillouin scattering from Raman scattering in liquid water. The opposing spatial displacements of the Stokes and Anti-Stokes shifted Brillouin peaks yield a measurement of their spectral shifts and thus the temperature or salinity of the water. Performance of the prism cell was mapped with a frequency tunable laser for frequency offsets from the center of the rubidium absorption feature of between −15 GHz and 15 GHz and at rubidium cell temperatures between 148 °C and 177 °C. The experimental results are compared with a numerical model and show good agreement with the scattering peak displacements within experimental uncertainties of probe frequency and cell temperature. In the present configuration, the minimum detectable frequency shift is estimated to be 15.5 MHz. Experiments were conducted in water demonstrating the utility of this method for the measurement of water temperature. Liquid water LiDAR was suggested as one of the possible applications for this method and several ways to improve the experimental setup and cell temperature stability were identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14847-14859
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 8 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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