Abstract

We have implemented a new optical scheme to produce a broadband frequency spectrum with customizable shape and high stability. The scheme consists of the generation of a mode structure by allowing a frequency-stabilized single-mode laser to pass through an acousto-optical modulator working in the Raman–Nath regime. Diffraction yields several diffracted beams, which are shifted in frequency (ΔνM) by acoustic waves in the acousto-optical modulator. Then the diffracted beams are merged into one beam by means of a telescope. The scheme has worked in both the visible and the UV: Frequency spectra as wide as nΔνM with n=7 have been achieved, resulting in widths of 225 and 150 MHz for the visible and the UV spectral regions, respectively. The spectra possess the same stability as the primary single-mode laser. Their profiles may exhibit a sharp termination on one side of the spectrum, a feature that allows them to be utilized for high-efficiency laser cooling of an ion beam in a storage ring.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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