Abstract

We demonstrate a dual-beam, balanced detector approach, compatible with commercial Fourier transform infrared spectrometers that provide a single modulated output. Implemented with a near-IR mode-locked fiber laser source and an external broadband polarizing beamsplitter, the dual-beam method provides relative intensity noise reduction and real-time baseline drift cancellation. Noise levels within a factor of three above the shot noise limit (using 0.6 mW of optical power) are demonstrated for the weak second overtone of CO. The method should be particularly well suited for applications like broadband spectroscopy using a large fraction of the supercontinuum generated in a highly nonlinear fiber, and attenuated reflection spectroscopy, for which extreme pathlength enhancement is challenging.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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