Dispersive heterodyne probing method for laser frequency stabilization based on spectral hole burning in rare-earth doped crystals

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Frequency-locking a laser to a spectral hole in rare-earth doped crystals at cryogenic temperature has been shown to be a promising alternative to the use of high finesse Fabry-Perot cavities when seeking a very high short term stability laser (M. J. Thorpe et al., Nature Photonics 5, 688 (2011)). We demonstrate here a novel technique for achieving such stabilization, based on generating a heterodyne beat-note between a master laser and a slave laser whose dephasing caused by propagation near a spectral hole generate the error signal of the frequency lock. The master laser is far detuned from the center of the inhomogeneous absorption profile, and therefore exhibits only limited interaction with the crystal despite a potentially high optical power. The demodulation and frequency corrections are generated digitally with a hardware and software implementation based on a field-programmable gate array and a Software Defined Radio platform, making it straightforward to address several frequency channels (spectral holes) in parallel.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Volume25
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)15539-15548
Number of pages10
ISSN1094-4087
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

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