We demonstrate a robust method of stabilizing a diode laser frequency to an atomic transition. This technique employs the Zeeman shift to generate an antisymmetric signal about a Doppler-broadened atomic resonance, and therefore offers a large recapture range as well as high stability. The frequency of a 780-nm diode laser, stabilized to such a signal in Rb, drifted less than 0.5 MHz peak–peak (1 part in 109) in 38 h. This tunable frequency lock can be constructed inexpensively, requires little laser power, rarely loses lock, and can be extended to other wavelengths by use of different atomic species.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 9, 1997
Revised Manuscript: February 2, 1998
Published: May 20, 1998
Kristan L. Corwin, Zheng-Tian Lu, Carter F. Hand, Ryan J. Epstein, and Carl E. Wieman, "Frequency-stabilized diode laser with the Zeeman shift in an atomic vapor," Appl. Opt. 37, 3295-3298 (1998)