The laser cooling of ytterbium (Yb) atoms needs a 399-nm laser which operates on the strong 1S0 -1P1 transition and can be locked at the desired frequencies for different Yb isotopes. We demonstrate a frequency locking method using the fluorescence spectrum of an Yb atomic beam as a frequency reference. For unresolved fluorescence peaks, we make the spectrum of the even isotopes vanish by using the strong angular-dependence of the fluorescence radiations; the remained closely-spaced peaks are thus clearly resolved and able to serve as accurate frequency references. A computer-controlled servo system is used to lock the laser frequency to a single fluorescence peak of interest, and a frequency stability of 304 kHz is achieved. This frequency-locked laser enables us to realize stable blue magneto-optic-traps (MOT) for all abundant Yb isotopes.
© 2014 Chinese Optics LettersPDF Article