A fast krypton ion beam with an energy of 10 keV is transferred through a mass filter and neutralized in a Rb- (or Cs-) vapour charge exchange cell. The emerging beam of metastable Kr atoms of a selected Kr isotope is collinearly irradiated with a tunable cw GaAlAs diode laser at 811 nm. The spectrum of the 1s(5)-2p(9) transition covers similar to 10 GHz and consists of one line each for the five stable isotopes of Kr with even mass number and 15 hyperfine structure lines of Kr-83. The individual lines are recorded by detecting the fluorescence signal perpendicular to the beams. Photons are guided to the PM tube by diffuse reflection from a high reflectance thermoplastics light collector. Up to 20 photons per atom are emitted by cycling between the two states during the flight time of 1.2 mu s through the detector. The observed absorption linewidth of 100 MHz is a combination of laser linewidth and energy uncertainty in the fast atomic beam. In order to achieve maximum isotope selectivity the beam energy has to be adjusted in such a way that the Doppler shifted lines of all isotopes form an optimum pattern for detecting the very rare isotopes Kr-81 and Kr-85 in natural environmental samples.
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