We have developed a method for determining metal-atom number-density integrated over a line-of-sight (i.e., the column density) by measuring the optical depth in the wings of the pressure-broadened resonance lines. This method is capable of monitoring the column density in situ during photoelectric absorption measurement of metal vapors in a synchrotron radiation beamline. The present method requires measuring the reduced absorption coefficients of the metal-metal and metal-buffer-gas collisional quasimolecules γMM and γMG and the effective vapor length l before its use. We thus describe also the procedure for obtaining γMM, γMG, and l using He-buffered Yb vapor as a specific example.
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