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Opt Express. 2012 Feb 13;20(4):4346-51. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.004346.

Enhancing electromagnetically-induced transparency in a multilevel broadened medium.

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Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS, Case 74, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Electromagnetically-induced transparency has become an important tool to control the optical properties of dense media. However, in a broad class of systems, the interplay between inhomogeneous broadening and the existence of several excited levels may lead to a vanishing transparency. Here, by identifying the underlying physical mechanisms resulting in this effect, we show that transparency can be strongly enhanced. We thereby demonstrate a 5-fold enhancement in a room-temperature vapor of alkali-metal atoms via a specific shaping of the atomic velocity distribution.

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