Abstract

We demonstrate a simple periodically locked cw cavity ringdown spectroscopy technique that enables a very large number of ringdown events to be rapidly acquired. An external cavity diode laser is locked to a high-finesse cavity, and as many as 16,000 ringdown events per second are obtained by periodically switching off the light entering the high-finesse cavity. Following each ringdown event, the light to the cavity is switched back on and cavity lock is rapidly reacquired. Limited only by our relatively modest digitization rate, we obtained a minimum detectable absorption loss of 4.7 × 10-9 cm-1, but we show that faster digitization could provide a sensitivity of 5.9 × 10-10 cm-1 Hz-1/2.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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