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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 12 — Jun. 17, 2013
  • pp: 14008–14016

Widely tunable laser frequency offset lock with 30 GHz range and 5 THz offset

J. Biesheuvel, D. W. E. Noom, E. J. Salumbides, K. T. Sheridan, W. Ubachs, and J. C. J. Koelemeij  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 12, pp. 14008-14016 (2013)

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We demonstrate a simple and versatile method to greatly extend the tuning range of optical frequency shifting devices, such as acousto-optic modulators (AOMs). We use this method to stabilize the frequency of a tunable narrow-band continuous-wave (CW) laser to a transmission maximum of an external Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) with a tunable frequency offset. This is achieved through a servo loop which contains an in-loop AOM for simple radiofrequency (RF) tuning of the optical frequency over the full 30 GHz mode-hop-free tuning range of the CW laser. By stabilizing the length of the FPI to a stabilized helium-neon (HeNe) laser (at 5 THz offset from the tunable laser) we simultaneously transfer the ∼ 1 MHz absolute frequency stability of the HeNe laser to the entire 30 GHz range of the tunable laser. Thus, our method allows simple, wide-range, fast and reproducible optical frequency tuning and absolute optical frequency measurements through RF electronics, which is here demonstrated by repeatedly recording a 27-GHz-wide molecular iodine spectrum at scan rates up to 500 MHz/s. General technical aspects that determine the performance of the method are discussed in detail.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(000.2170) General : Equipment and techniques
(140.3600) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, tunable
(140.4780) Lasers and laser optics : Optical resonators
(300.6360) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, laser
(140.3425) Lasers and laser optics : Laser stabilization

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: April 4, 2013
Revised Manuscript: May 23, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: May 23, 2013
Published: June 4, 2013

J. Biesheuvel, D. W. E. Noom, E. J. Salumbides, K. T. Sheridan, W. Ubachs, and J. C. J. Koelemeij, "Widely tunable laser frequency offset lock with 30 GHz range and 5 THz offset," Opt. Express 21, 14008-14016 (2013)

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