OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 4 — Feb. 14, 2011
  • pp: 3471–3482

Spherical reference cavities for frequency stabilization of lasers in non-laboratory environments

David R. Leibrandt, Michael J. Thorpe, Mark Notcutt, Robert E. Drullinger, Till Rosenband, and James C. Bergquist  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 4, pp. 3471-3482 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1154 KB) | SpotlightSpotlight on Optics

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We present an optical cavity design that is insensitive to both vibrations and orientation. The design is based on a spherical cavity spacer that is held rigidly at two points on a diameter of the sphere. Coupling of the support forces to the cavity length is reduced by holding the sphere at a “squeeze insensitive angle” with respect to the optical axis. Finite element analysis is used to calculate the acceleration sensitivity of the spherical cavity for the ideal geometry as well as for several varieties of fabrication errors. The measured acceleration sensitivity for an initial, sub-ideal version of the mounted cavity is 4.0(5) × 10−11/g, 1.6(3) × 10−10/g, and 3.1(1) × 10−10/g (where g = 9.81 m/s2) for accelerations along the vertical and two horizontal directions, and the fractional frequency stability of a laser locked to the cavity is 1.2 × 10−15 between 0.4 and 13 s. This low acceleration sensitivity combined with the orientation insensitivity that comes with a rigid mount indicates that this cavity design could allow frequency stable lasers to operate in non-laboratory environments.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.7280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Vibration analysis
(140.4780) Lasers and laser optics : Optical resonators
(140.3425) Lasers and laser optics : Laser stabilization

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: November 16, 2010
Revised Manuscript: January 26, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: January 31, 2011
Published: February 8, 2011

Virtual Issues
March 8, 2011 Spotlight on Optics

David R. Leibrandt, Michael J. Thorpe, Mark Notcutt, Robert E. Drullinger, Till Rosenband, and James C. Bergquist, "Spherical reference cavities for frequency stabilization of lasers in non-laboratory environments," Opt. Express 19, 3471-3482 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. B. C. Young, F. C. Cruz, W. M. Itano, and J. C. Bergquist, "Visible lasers with subhertz linewidths," Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3799-3802 (1999). [CrossRef]
  2. W. H. Oskay, S. A. Diddams, E. A. Donley, T. M. Fortier, T. P. Heavner, L. Hollberg, W. M. Itano, S. R. Jefferts, M. J. Delaney, K. Kim, F. Levi, T. E. Parker, and J. C. Bergquist, "Single-atom optical clock with high accuracy," Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 020801 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. B. Willke, K. Danzmann, M. Frede, P. King, D. Kracht, P. Kwee, O. Puncken, R. L. Savage, B. Schulz, F. Seifert, C. Veltkamp, S. Wagner, P. Weßels, and L. Winkelmann, "Stabilized lasers for advanced gravitational wave detectors," Class. Quantum Gravity 25, 114040 (2008). [CrossRef]
  4. T. Rosenband, D. B. Hume, P. O. Schmidt, C. W. Chou, A. Brusch, L. Lorini, W. H. Oskay, R. E. Drullinger, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, S. A. Diddams, W. C. Swann, N. R. Newbury, W. M. Itano, D. J. Wineland, and J. C. Bergquist, "Frequency ratio of Al+ and Hg+ single-ion optical clocks; metrology at the 17th decimal place," Science 319, 1808-1812 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. K. Numata, A. Kemery, and J. Camp, "Thermal-noise limit in the frequency stabilization of lasers with rigid cavities," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 250602 (2004). [CrossRef]
  6. D. Kleppner, "Time too good to be true," Phys. Today 59, 10-11, March (2006). [CrossRef]
  7. S. Schiller, G. M. Tino, P. Gill, C. Salomon, U. Sterr, E. Peik, A. Nevsky, A. Görlitz, D. Svehla, G. Ferrari, N. Poli, L. Lusanna, H. Klein, H. Margolis, P. Lemonde, P. Laurent, G. Santarelli, A. Clairon, W. Ertmer, E. Rasel, J. Müller, L. Iorio, C. Lämmerzahl, H. Dittus, E. Gill, M. Rothacher, F. Flechner, U. Schreiber, V. Flambaum, W.-T. Ni, L. Liu, X. Chen, J. Chen, K. Gao, L. Cacciapuoti, R. Holzwarth, M. P. Heß, and W. Schäfer, "Einstein gravity explorer - a medium-class fundamental physics mission," Exp. Astron. 23, 573-610 (2009). [CrossRef]
  8. P. Wolf, C. J. Bordé, A. Clairon, L. Duchayne, A. Landragin, P. Lemonde, G. Santarelli, W. Ertmer, E. Rasel, F. S. Cataliotti, M. Inguscio, G. M. Tino, P. Gill, H. Klein, S. Reynaud, C. Salomon, E. Peik, O. Bertolami, P. Gil, J. Páramos, C. Jentsch, U. Johann, A. Rathke, P. Bouyer, L. Cacciapuoti, D. Izzo, P. D. Natale, B. Christophe, P. Touboul, S. G. Turyshev, J. Anderson, M. E. Tobar, F. Schmidt-Kaler, J. Vigué, A. A. Madej, L. Marmet, M.-C. Angonin, P. Delva, P. Tourrenc, G. Metris, H. Müller, R. Walsworth, Z. H. Lu, L. J. Wang, K. Bongs, A. Toncelli, M. Tonelli, H. Dittus, C. Lämmerzahl, G. Galzerano, P. Laporta, J. Laskar, A. Fienga, F. Roques, and K. Sengstock, "Quantum physics exploring gravity in the outer solar system: the SAGAS project," Exp. Astron. 23, 651-687 (2009). [CrossRef]
  9. M. Notcutt, L.-S. Ma, J. Ye, and J. L. Hall, "Simple and compact 1-Hz laser system via an improved mounting configuration of a reference cavity," Opt. Lett. 30, 1815-1817 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. T. Nazarova, F. Riehle, and U. Sterr, "Vibration-insensitive reference cavity for an ultra-narrow-linewidth laser," Appl. Phys. B 83, 531-536 (2006). [CrossRef]
  11. A. D. Ludlow, X. Huang, M. Notcutt, T. Zanon-Willette, S. M. Foreman, M. M. Boyd, S. Blatt, and J. Ye, "Compact, thermal-noise-limited optical cavity for diode laser stabilization at 1×10−15," Opt. Lett. 32, 641-643 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. S. A. Webster, M. Oxborrow, and P. Gill, "Vibration insensitive optical cavity," Phys. Rev. A 75, 011801 (2007). [CrossRef]
  13. S. A. Webster, M. Oxborrow, S. Pugla, J. Millo, and P. Gill, "Thermal-noise-limited optical cavity," Phys. Rev. A 77, 033847 (2008). [CrossRef]
  14. J. Millo, D. V. Magalhães, C. Mandache, Y. L. Coq, E. M. L. English, P. G. Westergaard, J. Lodewyck, S. Bize, P. Lemonde, and G. Santarelli, "Ultrastable lasers based on vibration insensitive cavities," Phys. Rev. A 79, 053829 (2009). [CrossRef]
  15. Y. N. Zhao, J. Zhang, A. Stejskal, T. Liu, V. Elman, Z. H. Lu, and L. J. Wang, "A vibration-insensitive optical cavity and absolute determination of its ultrahigh stability," Opt. Express 17, 8970-8982 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. Commercial products are identified for technical clarity. Such identification does not imply endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  17. L. Chen, J. L. Hall, J. Ye, T. Yang, E. Zang, and T. Li, "Vibration-induced elastic deformation of Fabry-Perot cavities," Phys. Rev. A 74, 053801 (2006). [CrossRef]
  18. T. Legero, T. Kessler, and U. Sterr, "Tuning the thermal expansion properties of optical reference cavities with fused silica mirrors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 914-919 (2010). [CrossRef]
  19. S. T. Dawkins, R. Chicireanu, M. Petersen, J. Millo, D. V. Magalhães, C. Mandache, Y. Le Coq, and S. Bize, "An ultra-stable referenced interrogation system in the deep ultraviolet for a mercury optical lattice clock," Appl. Phys. B 99, 41-46 (2010). [CrossRef]
  20. R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, "Laser phase and frequency stabilization using an optical resonator," Appl. Phys. B 31, 97-105 (1983). [CrossRef]
  21. L. S. Ma, P. Jungner, J. Ye, and J. L. Hall, "Delivering the same optical frequency at two places: accurate cancellation of phase noise introduced by an optical fiber or other time-varying path," Opt. Lett. 19, 1777-1779 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. C. W. Chou, D. B. Hume, J. C. J. Koelemeij, D. J. Wineland, and T. Rosenband, "Frequency comparison of two high-accuracy Al+ optical clocks," Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 070802 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. M. J. Thorpe, D. R. Leibrandt, T. M. Fortier, and T. Rosenband, "Measurement and real-time cancellation of vibration-induced phase noise in a cavity-stabilized laser," Opt. Express 18, 18744-18751 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited