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29 February 2008 Frequency stabilization of an external cavity diode laser: countermeasures against atmospheric temperature variations
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External cavity diode lasers (ECDL) are presently experiencing a surge in popularity, as laser light-sources for advanced optical measurement systems. While these devices normally require external optical-output controls, we simplified the setup, a bit, by adding a second external cavity. This technique boasts the added advantage of having a narrower oscillation-linewidth than would be achievable, using a single optical feedback. Because drive-current and atmospheric temperature directly impact the ECDL systems' oscillation frequency, during frequency stability checks, it was necessary, in this instance, to construct a slightly smaller ECDL system, which we mounted on a Super-Invar board, to minimize the influence of thermal expansion. Taking these and other aggressive and timely measures to prevent atmospheric temperature-related changes allowed us to achieve an improvement in oscillation-frequency stability, i.e., to obtain the square root of Allan variance σ =2×10-10, at averaging time τ =10-1. We introduced a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) to the setup, for the simple reason that its frequency is far less susceptible to changes in temperature, than other lasers of its type. And, because VCSELs are widely available, and the ECDL systems that use them improve frequency stability, we replaced the Fabry-Perot semiconductor laser with a VCSEL.
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Yuta Minabe, Kohei Doi, Takashi Sato, Takeo Maruyama, Masashi Ohkawa, and Tsuneya Tsubokawa "Frequency stabilization of an external cavity diode laser: countermeasures against atmospheric temperature variations", Proc. SPIE 6889, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XVI, 688918 (29 February 2008);

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