Abstract

We study the response of a high-finesse optical cavity to a cw laser during the laser frequency passage through resonance. For a laser that is spectrally larger than the cavity resonance, laser-field phase fluctuations are converted into amplitude fluctuations, and cavity injection is intrinsically noisy. We develop a model based on Schawlow-Townes spontaneous-emission laser broadening and discuss in detail its effects on high-sensitivity spectroscopic techniques such as cavity-enhanced absorption or cavity ring-down spectroscopy. We present realistic simulations of cavity injection during a sweep through resonance and calculation of statistical quantities such as the average injection efficiency. Agreement with experimental observations is established.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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