A. Di Lieto

Università di Pisa, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (297)638.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we report the inhomogeneous and homogeneous linewidths of the 7F0虠5D0 optical transition for a number of sites in Eu3+:KYF4. The high frequency resolution obtained in our measurements enabled a sixth europium site to be identified, which was previously unresolved. In addition, preliminary hole burning measurements allow a partial characterization of the 153Eu isotope hyperfine spin states for two sites and an approximation of the ground-state spin-level lifetime. We also discuss the temperature dependence of the homogeneous linewidth, which was measured by a two-pulse photon echo study. This study is the first photon echo measurement reported for Eu3+ ions in fluoride crystals. The results demonstrate that the low temperature homogeneous broadening is not limited by magnetic contributions but rather by dynamic disorder modes. These measurements also reveal electron-phonon interactions that are significantly different to oxide crystals.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a search for long-duration gravitational wave transients in two sets of data collected by the LIGO Hanford and LIGO Livingston detectors between November 5, 2005 and September 30, 2007, and July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010, with a total observational time of 283.0 days and 132.9 days, respectively. The search targets gravitational wave transients of duration 10 - 500 seconds in a frequency band of 40 - 1000 Hz, with minimal assumptions about the signal waveform, polarization, source direction, or time of occurrence. All candidate triggers were consistent with the expected background; as a result we set 90% confidence upper limits on the rate of long-duration gravitational wave transients for different types of gravitational wave signals. We also report upper limits on the source rate density per year per Mpc^3 for specific signal models. These are the first results from an all-sky search for unmodeled long-duration transient gravitational waves.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We report on a scheme for particle detection based on the infrared quantum counter concept. Its operation consists of a two-step excitation process of a four level system, which can be realized in rare earth-doped crystals when a cw pump laser is tuned to the transition from the second to the fourth level. The incident particle raises the atoms of the active material into a low lying, metastable energy state, triggering the absorption of the pump laser to a higher level. Following a rapid non-radiative decay to a fluorescent level, an optical signal is observed with a conventional detector. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of such a scheme, we have investigated the emission from the fluorescent level 4S3∕2 (540 nm band) in an Er3+-doped YAG crystal pumped by a tunable titanium sapphire laser when it is irradiated with 60 keV electrons delivered by an electron gun. We have obtained a clear signature that this excitation increases the 4 I 13∕2 metastable level population that can efficiently be exploited to generate a detectable optical signal.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Applied Physics Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We present a systematic study of the crystal field interactions in the Li$R$F$_4$, $R$ = Gd, Ho, Er, Tm and Yb, family of rare-earth magnets. Using detailed inelastic neutron scattering measurements we have been able to quantify the transition energies and wavefunctions for each system. This allows us to quantitatively describe the high-temperature susceptibility measurements for the series of materials and make predictions based on a mean-field approach for the low-temperature thermal and quantum phase transitions. We show that coupling between crystal field and phonon states leads to lineshape broadening in LiTmF$_4$ and level splitting in LiYbF$_4$. Furthermore, using high resolution neutron scattering from LiHoF$_4$, we find anomalous broadening of crystal-field excitations which we attribute to magnetoelastic coupling.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Physical Review B
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the lack of suitable optical modulators, directly generated Pr3+- and Dy3+-doped bulk visible lasers are limited in the continuous-wave operation; yet, pulsed visible lasers are only sparingly reported recently. It has been theoretically predicated that Au nanorods could modulate the visible light operation, based on the nonlinear optical response of surface plasmon resonance. Here, we demonstrate the saturable absorption properties of Au nanorods in the visible region and experimentally realized the pulsed visible lasers over the spectral range of orange (605 nm), red (639 nm), and deep red (721 nm) with Au nanorods as the optical modulator. We show that Au nanorods have a broad nonlinear optical response and can serve as a type of broadband, low-cost, and eco-friendly candidate for optical switchers in the visible region. Our work also advocates the promise of plasmonic nanostructures for the development of pulsed lasers and other plasmonic devices.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Applied Physics Letters
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the results of the first low frequency all-sky search of continuous gravitational wave signals conducted on Virgo VSR2 and VSR4 data. The search covered the full sky, a frequency range between 20 Hz and 128 Hz with a range of spin-down between $-1.0 \times 10^{-10}$ Hz/s and $+1.5 \times 10^{-11}$ Hz/s, and was based on a hierarchical approach. The starting point was a set of short Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT), of length 8192 seconds, built from the calibrated strain data. Aggressive data cleaning, both in the time and frequency domains, has been done in order to remove, as much as possible, the effect of disturbances of instrumental origin. On each dataset a number of candidates has been selected, using the FrequencyHough transform in an incoherent step. Only coincident candidates among VSR2 and VSR4 have been examined in order to strongly reduce the false alarm probability, and the most significant candidates have been selected. The criteria we have used for candidate selection and for the coincidence step greatly reduce the harmful effect of large instrumental artifacts. Selected candidates have been subject to a follow-up by constructing a new set of longer FFTs followed by a further incoherent analysis. No evidence for continuous gravitational wave signals was found, therefore we have set a population-based joint VSR2-VSR4 90$\%$ confidence level upper limit on the dimensionless gravitational wave strain in the frequency range between 20 Hz and 128 Hz. This is the first all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves conducted at frequencies below 50 Hz. We set upper limits in the range between about $10^{-24}$ and $2\times 10^{-23}$ at most frequencies. Our upper limits on signal strain show an improvement of up to a factor of $\sim$2 with respect to the results of previous all-sky searches at frequencies below $80~\mathrm{Hz}$.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We report results of a wideband search for periodic gravitational waves from isolated neutron stars within the Orion spur towards both the inner and outer regions of our Galaxy. As gravitational waves interact very weakly with matter, the search is unimpeded by dust and concentrations of stars. One search disk (A) is $6.87^\circ$ in diameter and centered on $20^\textrm{h}10^\textrm{m}54.71^\textrm{s}+33^\circ33'25.29"$, and the other (B) is $7.45^\circ$ in diameter and centered on $8^\textrm{h}35^\textrm{m}20.61^\textrm{s}-46^\circ49'25.151"$. We explored the frequency range of 50-1500 Hz and frequency derivative from $0$ to $-5\times 10^{-9}$ Hz/s. A multi-stage, loosely coherent search program allowed probing more deeply than before in these two regions, while increasing coherence length with every stage. Rigorous followup parameters have winnowed initial coincidence set to only 70 candidates, to be examined manually. None of those 70 candidates proved to be consistent with an isolated gravitational wave emitter, and 95% confidence level upper limits were placed on continuous-wave strain amplitudes. Near $169$ Hz we achieve our lowest 95% CL upper limit on worst-case linearly polarized strain amplitude $h_0$ of $6.3\times 10^{-25}$, while at the high end of our frequency range we achieve a worst-case upper limit of $3.4\times 10^{-24}$ for all polarizations and sky locations.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We report about a novel scheme for particle detection based on the infrared quantum counter concept. Its operation consists of a two-step excitation process of a four level system, that can be realized in rare earth-doped crystals when a cw pump laser is tuned to the transition from the second to the fourth level. The incident particle raises the atoms of the active material into a low lying, metastable energy state, triggering the absorption of the pump laser to a higher level. Following a rapid non-radiative decay to a fluorescent level, an optical signal is observed with a conventional detectors. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of such a scheme, we have investigated the emission from the fluorescent level $^4$S$_{3/2}$ (540 nm band) in an Er$^{3+}$-doped YAG crystal pumped by a tunable titanium sapphire laser when it is irradiated with 60 keV electrons delivered by an electron gun. We have obtained a clear signature this excitation increases the $^{4}I_{13/2}$ metastable level population that can efficiently be exploited to generate a detectable optical signal.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Coherent light sources in the visible range are playing important roles in our daily life and modern technology, since about 50% of the capability of the our human brains is devoted to processing visual information. Visible lasers can be achieved by nonlinear optical process of infrared lasers and direct lasing of gain materials, and the latter has advantages in the aspects of compactness, efficiency, simplicity, etc. However, due to lack of visible optical modulators, the directly generated visible lasers with only a gain material are constrained in continuous-wave operation. Here, we demonstrated the fabrication of a visible optical modulator and pulsed visible lasers based on atomic-layer molybdenum sulfide (MoS2), a ultrathin two-dimensional material with about 9-10 layers. By employing the nonlinear absorption of the modulator, the pulsed orange, red and deep red lasers were directly generated. Besides, the present atomic-layer MoS2 optical modulator has broadband modulating properties and advantages in the simple preparation process. The present results experimentally verify the theoretical prediction for the low-dimensional optoelectronic modulating devices in the visible wavelength region and may open an attractive avenue for removing a stumbling block for the further development of pulsed visible lasers.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate efficient passively Q-switched laser operation, based on Tm3+:LiGdF4 and Cr2+:ZnSe, as active medium and saturable absorber, respectively. The polarized emission was centered at 1876 nm, with pulse parameters of 13 ns (duration), 467 μJ (energy), and 37 kW (peak power) at a repetition rate of 350 Hz.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · IEEE Photonics Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The Advanced Virgo interferometer is the upgraded version of the Virgo detector having the goal to extend by a factor 10 the observation horizon in the universe and consequently increase the detection rate by three orders of magnitude. Its installation is in progress and is expected to be completed in late 2015. In this proceeding we will present the scheme and the main challenging technical features of the detector and we will give an outline of the installation status and the foreseen time schedule which will bring Advanced Virgo to its full operation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Physics Conference Series
  • Azzurra Volpi · Alberto Di Lieto · Mauro Tonelli
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    ABSTRACT: Laser cooling in solids is based on anti-Stokes luminescence, via the annihilation of lattice phonons needed to compensate the energy of emitted photons, higher than absorbed ones. Usually the anti-Stokes process is obtained using a rare-earth active ion, like Yb. In this work we demonstrate a novel approach for optical cooling based not only to Yb anti-Stokes cycle but also to virtuous energy-transfer processes from the active ion, obtaining an increase of the cooling efficiency of a single crystal LiYF4 (YLF) doped Yb at 5at.% with a controlled co-doping of 0.0016% Thulium ions. A model for efficiency enhancement based on Yb-Tm energy transfer is also suggested.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Optics Express
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    ABSTRACT: Atomic-layer two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors are considered as fundamental materials for next-generation nano-optoelectronic devices. Based on the third-order optical nonlinearity, saturable absorption, and band-gap structures of 2D semiconductors, 2D broadband optical switchers were proposed and experimentally constructed for modulating the laser operation, especially in the infrared range; meanwhile, few 2D saturable absorbers in visible lasers were reported. Here, we demonstrate the pulsed green praseodymium (Pr3+) bulk laser at the wavelength of 522 nm modulated by an atomic-layer molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) saturable absorber. The results represent the shortest spectral range in which 2D saturable absorbers applied. Associating with the recent development of visible lasers and previous reported MoS2 saturable absorbers, this letter provides a promising optical modulator for visible lasers and experimentally identifies that the MoS2 saturable absorber is a universal device for laser modulation in the spectral range from the green to mid-infrared.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · IEEE Photonics Technology Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We describe directed searches for continuous gravitational waves in data from the sixth LIGO science data run. The targets were nine young supernova remnants not associated with pulsars; eight of the remnants are associated with non-pulsing suspected neutron stars. One target's parameters are uncertain enough to warrant two searches, for a total of ten. Each search covered a broad band of frequencies and first and second frequency derivatives for a fixed sky direction. The searches coherently integrated data from the two LIGO interferometers over time spans from 5.3-25.3 days using the matched-filtering F-statistic. We found no credible gravitational-wave signals. We set 95% confidence upper limits as strong (low) as $4\times10^{-25}$ on intrinsic strain, $2\times10^{-7}$ on fiducial ellipticity, and $4\times10^{-5}$ on r-mode amplitude. These beat the indirect limits from energy conservation and are within the range of theoretical predictions for neutron-star ellipticities and r-mode amplitudes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the study: Analyzing velocimetric (umbilical artery, UA; ductus venosus, DV; middle cerebral artery, MCA) and computerized cardiotocographic (cCTG) (fetal heart rate, FHR; short term variability, STV; approximate entropy, ApEn) parameters in intrauterine growth restriction, IUGR, in order to detect early signs of fetal compromise. POPULATION STUDY: 375 pregnant women assisted from the 28th week of amenorrhea to delivery and monitored through cCTG and Doppler ultrasound investigation. The patients were divided into three groups according to the age of gestation at the time of delivery, before the 34th week, from 34th to 37th week, and after the 37th week. Data were analyzed in relation to the days before delivery and according to the physiology or pathology of velocimetry. Statistical analysis was performed through the t-test, chi-square test, and Pearson correlation test (P < 0.05). Our results evidenced an earlier alteration of UA, DV, and MCA. The analysis between cCTG and velocimetric parameters (the last distinguished into physiological and pathological values) suggests a possible relation between cCTG alterations and Doppler ones. The present study emphasizes the need for an antenatal testing in IUGR fetuses using multiple surveillance modalities to enhance prediction of neonatal outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of pregnancy
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    ABSTRACT: We present results of a search for continuously-emitted gravitational radiation, directed at the brightest low-mass X-ray binary, Scorpius X-1. Our semi-coherent analysis covers 10 days of LIGO S5 data ranging from 50-550 Hz, and performs an incoherent sum of coherent $\mathcal{F}$-statistic power distributed amongst frequency-modulated orbital sidebands. All candidates not removed at the veto stage were found to be consistent with noise at a 1% false alarm rate. We present Bayesian 95% confidence upper limits on gravitational-wave strain amplitude using two different prior distributions: a standard one, with no a priori assumptions about the orientation of Scorpius X-1; and an angle-restricted one, using a prior derived from electromagnetic observations. Median strain upper limits of 1.3e-24 and 8e-25 are reported at 150 Hz for the standard and angle-restricted searches respectively. This proof of principle analysis was limited to a short observation time by unknown effects of accretion on the intrinsic spin frequency of the neutron star, but improves upon previous upper limits by factors of ~1.4 for the standard, and 2.3 for the angle-restricted search at the sensitive region of the detector.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Physical Review D
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of rare earth impurities on the cooling efficiency of Yb3+:LiYF4 (Yb:YLF). The refrigeration performance of two single crystals, doped with 5%-at. Yb and with identical history but with different amount of contaminations, have been compared by measuring the cooling efficiency curves. Spectroscopic and elemental analyses of the samples have been carried out to identify the contaminants, to quantify their concentrations and to understand their effect on the cooling efficiencies. A model of energy transfer processes between Yb and other rare earth ions is suggested, identifying Erbium and Holmium as elements that produce a detrimental effect on the cooling performance.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Optics Express
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of a multimessenger search for coincident signals from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave observatories and the partially completed IceCube high-energy neutrino detector, including periods of joint operation between 2007-2010. These include parts of the 2005-2007 run and the 2009-2010 run for LIGO-Virgo, and IceCube's observation periods with 22, 59 and 79 strings. We find no significant coincident events, and use the search results to derive upper limits on the rate of joint sources for a range of source emission parameters. For the optimistic assumption of gravitational-wave emission energy of $10^{-2}$ M$_\odot$c$^2$ at $\sim 150$ Hz with $\sim 60$ ms duration, and high-energy neutrino emission of $10^{51}$ erg comparable to the isotropic gamma-ray energy of gamma-ray bursts, we limit the source rate below $1.6 \times 10^{-2}$ Mpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$. We also examine how combining information from gravitational waves and neutrinos will aid discovery in the advanced gravitational-wave detector era.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Physical Review D
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the results of a coherent narrow-band search for continuous gravitational-wave signals from the Crab and Vela pulsars conducted on Virgo VSR4 data. In order to take into account a possible small mismatch between the gravitational wave frequency and two times the star rotation frequency, inferred from measurement of the electromagnetic pulse rate, a range of 0.02 Hz around two times the star rotational frequency has been searched for both the pulsars. No evidence for a signal has been found and 95$\%$ confidence level upper limits have been computed both assuming polarization parameters are completely unknown and that they are known with some uncertainty, as derived from X-ray observations of the pulsar wind torii. For Vela the upper limits are comparable to the spin-down limit, computed assuming that all the observed spin-down is due to the emission of gravitational waves. For Crab the upper limits are about a factor of two below the spin-down limit, and represent a significant improvement with respect to past analysis. This is the first time the spin-down limit is significantly overcome in a narrow-band search.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Review D
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    ABSTRACT: In 2009-2010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observa- tory (LIGO) operated together with international partners Virgo and GEO600 as a network to search for gravitational waves of astrophysical origin. The sensitiv- ity of these detectors was limited by a combination of noise sources inherent to the instrumental design and its environment, often localized in time or frequency, that couple into the gravitational-wave readout. Here we review the performance of the LIGO instruments during this epoch, the work done to characterize the de- tectors and their data, and the effect that transient and continuous noise artefacts have on the sensitivity of LIGO to a variety of astrophysical sources.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Classical and Quantum Gravity

Publication Stats

3k Citations
638.90 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1970-2015
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Physics "E.Fermi"
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1991-2014
    • University of Naples Federico II
      • • Department of Physical Sciences
      • • Section of Psychology
      • • Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2010
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1981-2009
    • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1999
    • Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1996
    • Università degli Studi del Sannio
      Benevento, Campania, Italy
  • 1988-1996
    • Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1991-1994
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Materials Science and Engineering
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1987
    • Second University of Naples
      Caserta, Campania, Italy