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- PublicationAccès libreFrequency-stabilised laser reference system for trace-gas sensing applications from spaceA four-wavelength low-power continuous-wave frequency laser reference system has been realised in the 935.4-nm range for water vapour differential absorption lidar (DIAL) applications. The system is built around laboratory extended-cavity and DFB diode lasers. Three lasers are directly locked to three water vapour absorption lines of different strength, whereas the wavelength of the fourth laser lies out of any absorption line (offline). On-line stabilisation is performed by wavelength modulation spectroscopy technique, while precise offline stabilisation is realised by an offset locking at 18.8 GHz. Offset frequency larger than 320 GHz has also been demonstrated at 1.55 μm, based on an all-fibre optical frequency comb. First steps towards the use of a photonic crystal fibre as ultra compact reference cell with long optical pathlength were realised. The developed techniques for direct and offset-lock laser stabilisation can also be applied to other gases and wavelengths, provided the required optical components are available for the laser wavelength considered.
- PublicationAccès libreAbsolute frequency referencing in the long wave infrared using a quantum cascade laser frequency combOptical frequency combs (OFCs) based on quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) have transformed mid-infrared spectroscopy. However, QCL-OFCs have not yet been exploited to provide a broadband absolute frequency reference. We demonstrate this possibility by performing comb-calibrated spectroscopy at 7.7 µm (1305 cm−1) using a QCL-OFC referenced to a molecular transition. We obtain 1.5·10−10 relative frequency stability (100-s integration time) and 3·10−9 relative frequency accuracy, comparable with state-of-the-art solutions relying on nonlinear frequency conversion. We show that QCL-OFCs can be locked with sub-Hz-level stability to a reference for hours, thus promising their use as metrological tools for the mid-infrared.
- PublicationAccès libreCoherently-averaged dual comb spectrometer at 7.7 µm with master and follower quantum cascade lasers(2021-6)
; ;Shehzad, Atif ;Terrasanta, Giulio ; ; ;Gianella, Michele ;Jouy, Pierre ;Kapsalidis, Filippos ;Shahmohammadi Mehran, Mehran ;Beck Matthias, Matthias ; ;Faist, Jérôme ;Emmenegger, Lukas ; ;Hugi, AndreasWe demonstrate coherent averaging of the multi-heterodyne beat signal between two quantum cascade laser frequency combs in a master-follower configuration. The two combs are mutually locked by acting on the drive current to control their relative offset frequency and by radio-frequency extraction and injection locking of their intermode beat signal to stabilize their mode spacing difference. By implementing an analog common-noise subtraction scheme, a reduction of the linewidth of all heterodyne beat notes by five orders of magnitude is achieved compared to the free-running lasers. We compare stabilization and post-processing corrections in terms of amplitude noise. While they give similar performances in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, real-time processing of the stabilized signal is less demanding in terms of computational power. Lastly, a proof-of-principle spectroscopic measurement was performed, showing the possibility to reduce the amount of data to be processed by three orders of magnitude, compared to the free-running system.
- PublicationAccès libreDiode laser frequency stabilisation for water vapour differential absorption sensingWe describe a low-power continuous-wave laser system for water-vapour sensing applications in the 935-nm region. The system is based on extended-cavity diode lasers and distributed-feedback lasers and delivers four single-mode frequency-stabilised optical signals. Three lasers are locked to three water-vapour absorption lines of different strengths, whereas the fourth lies outside any absorption line. On-line stabilisation is performed by wavelength-modulation spectroscopy using compact water-vapour reference cells. An offset-locking technique implemented around an electrical filter is applied for the stabilisation of the off-line slave laser to an on-line master laser at a frequency detuning of 18.8 GHz. Stabilities in the order of 15 MHz over one day were observed for the strongest lines, at the detection limit of the measurement instrumentation. The developed techniques and schemes can be applied to other wavelength ranges and molecular species. Differential absorption lidar instrumentation can in particular benefit from such a system when the stabilised lasers serve as injection seeders to pulsed power oscillators.
- PublicationAccès libreLaser offset-frequency locking up to 20 GHz using a low-frequency electrical filter techniqueA simple, easy-to-implement, and robust technique is reported to offset lock two semiconductor lasers with a frequency difference easily adjustable up to a couple of tens of gigahertz (10 and 19 GHz experimentally demonstrated). The proposed scheme essentially makes use of low-frequency control electronics and may be implemented with any type of single mode semiconductor laser, without any requirement for the laser linewidth. The technique is shown to be very similar to the wavelength modulation spectroscopy method commonly used for laser stabilization onto molecular absorption lines, as demonstrated by experimental results obtained using 935 nm laser diodes.
- PublicationAccès libreCompact rubidium-stabilized multi-frequency reference source in the 1.55-μm regionCombining light modulation and frequency conversion techniques, a compact and simple frequency-stabilized optical frequency comb spanning over 45 nm in the 1.56-μm wavelength region is demonstrated. It benefits from the high-frequency stability achievable from rubidium atomic transitions at 780 nm probed in a saturation absorption scheme, which is transferred to the 1.56-μm spectral region via a second-harmonic generation process. The optical frequency comb is generated by an electro-optic modulator enclosed in a Fabry–Perot cavity that is injected by the fundamental frequency stabilized laser. Frequency stability better than 2 kHz has been demonstrated on time scales between 1000 s and 2 days both at 1560 nm, twice the rubidium wavelength, and for a comb line at 1557 nm.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementRb-stabilized laser at 1572 nm for CO2 monitoringWe have developed a compact rubidium-stabilized laser system to serve as optical frequency reference in the 1.55-m wavelength region, in particular for CO2 monitoring at 1572 nm. The light of a fiber-pigtailed distributed feedback (DFB) laser emitting at 1560 nm is frequency-doubled and locked to a sub-Doppler rubidium transition at 780 nm using a 2-cm long vapor glass cell. Part of the DFB laser light is modulated with an electro-optical modula-tor enclosed in a Fabry-Perot cavity, generating an optical frequency comb with spectral cover-age extending from 1540 nm to 1580 nm. A second slave DFB laser emitting at 1572 nm and offset-locked to one line of the frequency comb shows a relative frequency stability of 1·10-11at 1 s averaging time and <4·10-12 from 1 hour up to 3 days.
- PublicationAccès libreFrequency noise correlation between the offset frequency and the mode spacing in a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser frequency combThe generation of frequency combs in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral range by quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) has the potential for revolutionizing dual-comb multi-heterodyne spectroscopy in the molecular fingerprint region. However, in contrast to frequency combs based on passively mode-locked ultrafast lasers, their operation relies on a completely different mechanism resulting from a four-wave mixing process occurring in the semiconductor gain medium that locks the modes together. As a result, these lasers do not emit pulses and no direct self-referencing of a QCL comb spectrum has been achieved so far. Here, we present a detailed frequency noise characterization of a MIR QCL frequency comb operating at a wavelength of 8 μm with a mode spacing of ~ 7.4 GHz. Using a beat measurement with a narrow-linewidth single-mode QCL in combination with a dedicated electrical scheme, we measured the frequency noise properties of an optical mode of the QCL comb, and indirectly of its offset frequency for the first time, without detecting it by the standard approach of nonlinear interferometry applied to ultrafast mode-locked lasers. In addition, we also separately measured the noise of the comb mode spacing extracted electrically from the QCL. We observed a strong anti-correlation between the frequency fluctuations of the offset frequency and mode spacing, leading to optical modes with a linewidth slightly below 1 MHz in the free-running QCL comb (at 1-s integration time), which is narrower than the individual contributions of the offset frequency and mode spacing that are at least 2 MHz each.