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- 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.
- PublicationAccès libreInterferometric measurements beyond the coherence length of the laser sourceInterferometric measurements beyond the coherence length of the laser are investigated theoretically and experimentally in this paper. Thanks to a high-bandwidth detection, high-speed digitizers and a fast digital signal processing, we have demonstrated that the limit of the coherence length can be overcome. Theoretically, the maximal measurable displacement is infinite provided that the sampling rate is sufficiently short to prevent any phase unwrapping error. We could verify experimentally this concept using a miniature interferometer prototype, based on a frequency stabilized vertical cavity surface emitting laser. Displacement measurements at optical path differences up to 36 m could be realized with a relative stability better than 0.1 ppm, although the coherence length estimated from the linewidth and frequency noise measurements do not exceed 6.6 m.
- 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 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 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 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 libreUnprecedented evidence for deep convection hydrating the tropical stratosphere(2008)
;Corti, T. ;Luo, B. P. ;de Reus, M. ;Brunner, D. ;Cairo, F. ;Mahoney, M. J. ;Martucci, G. ; ;Mitev, Valentin ;dos Santos, F. H. ;Schiller, C. ;Shur, G. ;Sitnikov, N. M. ;Spelten, N. ;Vössing, H. J. ;Borrmann, S.Peter, T.We report on in situ and remote sensing measurements of ice particles in the tropical stratosphere found during the Geophysica campaigns TROCCINOX and SCOUT-O3. We show that the deep convective systems penetrated the stratosphere and deposited ice particles at altitudes reaching 420 K potential temperature. These convective events had a hydrating effect on the lower tropical stratosphere due to evaporation of the ice particles. In contrast, there were no signs of convectively induced dehydration in the stratosphere.
- PublicationAccès libreMethods and evaluation of frequency aging in distributed-feedback laser diodes for rubidium atomic clocksDistributed-feedback laser diodes emitting at 780nm have been evaluated, with respect to the aging of the injection current required for reaching the rubidium D2 resonance line. Results obtained for lasers operating in air and in vacuum for 9 months are reported. When operated at constant temperature, the laser current required for emission at the wavelength of the desired atomic resonance is found to decrease by 50 to 80 uA per month. The impact of this result on the lifetime and long-term performances of laser-pumped rubidium atomic clocks is discussed. © 2011 Optical Society of America OCIS codes: 140.2020, 350.4800.
- PublicationAccès libreComparison between Backscatter Lidar and Radiosonde Measurements of the Diurnal and Nocturnal Stratification in the Lower Troposphere(2007)
;Martucci, Giovanni ; ;Mitev, ValentinRichner, HansA collection of boundary layer heights has been derived from measurements performed by a ground-based backscatter lidar in Neuchâtel, Switzerland (47.000°N, 6.967°E, 485 m ASL). A dataset of 98 cases have been collected during 2 yr. From these data, 61 are noon and 37 are midnight cases. The following two different schemes were used to retrieve the mixed layer depth and the height of the residual layer from the measurements: the gradient and variance methods. The obtained values were compared with those derived from the potential temperature profiles as computed from radiosonde data. For nocturnal cases, the height of the first aerosol layer above the residual layer was also compared to the corresponding potential temperature value. Correlation coefficients between lidar and radiosonde in both convective and stable conditions are between 0.88 and 0.97.
- PublicationAccès libreEvaluation of the frequency stability of a VCSEL locked to a micro-fabricated Rubidium vapour cellWe present our evaluation of a compact laser system made of a 795 nm VCSEL locked to the Rubidium absorption line of a micro-fabricated absorption cell. The spectrum of the VCSEL was characterised, including its RIN, FM noise and line-width. We optimised the signal-to-noise ratio and determined the frequency shifts versus the cell temperature and the incident optical power. The frequency stability of the laser (Allan deviation) was measured using a high-resolution wavemeter and an ECDL-based reference. Our results show that a fractional instability of ≥ 10-9 may be reached at any timescale between 1 and 100'000 s. The MEMS cell was realised by dispensing the Rubidium in a glass-Silicon preform which was then, sealed by anodic bonding. The overall thickness of the reference cell is 1.5 mm. No buffer gas was added. The potential applications of this compact and low-consumption system range from optical interferometers to basic laser spectroscopy. It is particularly attractive for mobile and space instruments where stable and accurate wavelength references are needed.