Abstract

Two methods for polarization stabilization of an internal-mirror 3.39-μm He–Ne laser are reported. The first relies on a concurrently lasing 1.15-μm transition by fixing the relative amplitude of two orthogonally polarized longitudinal modes that are split by a Rochon prism and detected with separate Si photodiodes. In the second method, two spatially separated orthogonally polarized adjacent 3.39-μm modes are optically balanced, differentially chopped, and recombined on a single InSb photodiode for phase-sensitive detection. The dual-wavelength scheme has been tested by beating against a methane-stabilized 3.39-μm He–Ne laser, which yields maximum excursions of < 0.5 MHz over several hours and comparable reproducibility. The polarization-stabilized He–Ne laser has been used as a reference for a tunable color-center laser molecular-beam optothermal spectrometer and provides a precision of better than 2 MHz.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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