Quantum technologies are nowadays emerging as enabling tools for practical applications, such as quantum sensing, quantum computing and quantum metrology. Lasers play a central role in many of these technological platforms, e.g. for atomic clocks, ion-based or neutral atom-based quantum computers or atom interferometers. Here we present a complete laser system to cool, trap and control strontium atoms in an optical lattice or in tweezer arrays. A sub-Hz linewidth master laser, locked to a high-finesse optical cavity provides the frequency reference for an ultra-low noise comb. The rack-mounted laser system consists of all cooling, repumping, and clock lasers stabilized to the optical frequency comb. Each of the involved laser frequencies can therefore be tuned and mapped in the frequency domain with a high degree of stability. The system is controlled via a software interface, allowing to operate the cold-atom-based physics package autonomously. The system is tailored for the operation of 88Sr or 87Sr optical lattice clocks, or for quantum computing applications, but other sub-Hz lasers could be obtained by phase locking additional clock laser frequencies to the ultra-stable comb, enabling convenient and accurate optical frequency ratio measurements. The laser system architecture and the relevant characterization measurements will be presented, proposing some user-cases such as quantum computing and atom interferometry on strontium atoms. This represents a technological leap for quantum optics, allowing to explore further applications of quantum sensors outside a traditional lab.
Frequency combs are an enabling technology for metrology and spectroscopic applications in fundamental and life sciences. While frequency combs in the 1 μm regime, produced from Yb-based systems have already exceeded the 100 W – level, high power coverage of the interesting mid-infrared wavelength range remains yet to be demonstrated. Tm- and Ho-doped laser systems have recently shown operation at high average power levels in the 2 μm wavelength regime. However, frequency combs in this wavelength range have not exceeded the 5 W-average power level. In this work, we present a high power frequency comb, delivered by a Tm-doped chirped-pulse amplifier with subsequent nonlinear pulse compression. With an integrated phase noise of <320 mrad, low relative intensity noise of <0.5% and an average power of 60 W at 100 MHz repetition rate (and <30 fs FWHM pulse duration), this system demonstrates high stability and broad spectral coverage at an unrivalled average power level in this wavelength regime. Therefore, this laser will enable metrology and spectroscopy with unprecedented sensitivity and acquisition time. It is our ongoing effort to extend the spectral coverage of this system through the utilization of parametric frequency conversion into the mid-IR, thus ultimately enabling high power fingerprint spectroscopy in the entire molecular fingerprint region (2 – 20 μm).
Traditionally, infrared molecular spectroscopy has been performed with frequency-domain measurement techniques. Recent experiments have exploited the outstanding temporal coherence of state-of-the-art femtosecond lasers to overcome long-standing sensitivity and dynamic range limitations of these traditional techniques, with time-domain measurements. Here, we show how state-of-the-art 2-µm femtosecond technology provides (i) Watt-level infrared sources covering the entire molecular fingerprint region, with a spectral brightness exceeding even that of synchrotrons, (ii) background-free, high-sensitivity and high-dynamic range time-domain detection of molecular vibrations via electro-optical sampling with (iii) attosecond temporal accuracy. These advances herald a new regime for time-, frequency- and space-resolved molecular vibrational metrology.