Abstract

We report what we believe to be the first systematic study of Doppler-free, nonlinear absorption by use of cavity ringdown spectroscopy. We have developed a variant of cavity ringdown spectroscopy for the mid-infrared region between 9 and 11 µm, exploiting the intracavity power buildup that is possible with continuous-wave lasers. The infrared source consists of a continuous-wave CO2 laser with 1-mW tunable infrared sidebands that couple into a high-finesse stable resonator. We tune the sideband frequencies to observe a saturated, Doppler-free Lamb dip in the ν 7, 111,10 ← 112,10 rovibrational transition of ethylene (C2H4). Power studies of the Lamb dip are presented to examine the intracavity effects of saturation on the Lamb-dip linewidth, the peak depth, and the broadband absorption.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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