We present a new method of laser frequency locking in which the feedback signal is directly proportional to the detuning from an atomic transition, even at detunings many times the natural linewidth of the transition. Our method is a form of sub-Doppler polarization spectroscopy, based on measuring two Stokes parameters (<i>I</i><sub>2</sub> and <i>I</i><sub>3</sub>) of light transmitted through a vapor cell. It extends the linear capture range of the lock loop by as much as an order of magnitude and provides frequency discrimination equivalent to or better than those of other commonly used locking techniques.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
A. Ratnapala, C. J. Vale, A. G. White, M. D. Harvey, N. R. Heckenberg, and H. Rubinsztein-Dunlop, "Laser frequency locking by direct measurement of detuning," Opt. Lett. 29, 2704-2706 (2004)