Abstract

The diode laser is often used as a reference source in an interferometer because its interferogram zero crossings allow for precise intervals to be used for sampling the measured interferogram. The diode laser side modes, the features of which depend on the laser’s temperature and power, may generate extra sampling points. The number of extra sampling points is analytically evaluated, and the synthetic spectra are compared with those obtained experimentally using the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer. The conclusion is that the theoretical resolution is guaranteed in practice only when no more than one extra sampling point is generated. This is the case when either the diode laser side mode amplitudes are less than one half of the main mode amplitude or the distance in wave numbers between the side modes and the main mode times the maximum optical path difference is less than 1. Finally, once an appropriate diode laser has been chosen, the actual spectral resolution might be degraded by poor device-operating conditions.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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