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Excess phase noise in self-heterodyne detection

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3 Author(s)
M. P. van Exter ; Huygens Lab., Leiden Univ., Netherlands ; S. J. M. Kuppens ; J. P. Woerdman

The interpretation of self-heterodyne spectra is difficult if, apart from spontaneous emission, additional noise sources are presented. Measurements on an external-cavity semiconductor laser show how, for a relatively long delay, the high-frequency (Lorentzian) wings of the self-heterodyne spectrum are a sensitive measure for the quantum-limited (Schawlow-Townes) laser linewidth. The quantum-limited laser linewidth is shown to be inversely proportional to the output power. Values below 5 kHz are routinely measured. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) laser linewidth is larger than this due to excess low-frequency fluctuations, which are shown to result from the presence of side modes

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 3 )