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Ultra low frequency noise laser by locking to an all-fibered interferometer

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4 Author(s)
Kefelian, F. ; Lab. de Phys. des Lasers, Univ. Paris 13, Villetaneuse, France ; Jiang, H. ; Lemonde, P. ; Santarelli, G.

Very low frequency noise lasers are important tools for many applications such as high-resolution spectroscopy, optical atomic clock local oscillator, interferometric sensor (including gravitational waves detection), and coherent optical communications systems. Laser linewidth is usually reduced by locking to an ultra-stable optical cavity, using the Pound-Drever-Hall method. It led to fractional frequency instability lower than 10-15 for 1 s averaging time, and subhertz linewidth. However this scheme requires fine alignment of free space optical components, tight polarization adjustment and spatial mode matching. Moreover, high-finesse cavities are relatively expensive, bulky and fragile devices. This paper reports on the frequency stabilization of an erbium-doped fibre distributed-feedback laser using an all-fibre based Michelson interferometer of large arm imbalance. The interferometer uses a 1 km SMF-28 optical fibre spool in the delay arm and an acousto-optic modulator AOM2 allowing RF heterodyne detection. The frequency noise power spectral density is reduced by more than 40 dB for for Fourier frequencies ranging from 1 Hz to 10 kHz, leading to a level well below 1 Hz2/Hz over the whole range. Between 40 Hz and 100 kHz, the frequency noise is shown to be comparable to the one obtained by Pound-Drever-Hall locking to a high finesse Fabry-Perot cavity used as reference laser for frequency noise measurement. This method can consequently constitute an interesting alternative to cavity locking for applications where this frequency range is relevant.

Published in:

Lasers and Electro-Optics 2009 and the European Quantum Electronics Conference. CLEO Europe - EQEC 2009. European Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-19 June 2009