Abstract

We report a heterodyne beat with a linewidth of 5.6±0.6 Hz between two cavity-stabilized quantum-cascade lasers operating at 8.5 µm. We also present a technique for measuring this beat that avoids the need for extreme isolation of the optical cavities from the environment, that of employing a third servo loop with low bandwidth to force one cavity to track the slow drifts and low-frequency fluctuations of the other. Although it is not fully independent, this technique greatly facilitates heterodyne beat measurements for evaluating the performance of cavity-locked lasers above the bandwidth of the third loop.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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  1. J. Faist, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, C. Sirtori, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Science 264, 553 (1994).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
  3. J. T. Remillard, D. Uy, W. H. Weber, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, A. L. Hutchinson, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Express 7, 243 (2000), http://www.opticsexpress.org .
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. A. A. Kosterev, R. F. Curl, F. K. Tittel, C. Gmachl, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Appl. Opt. 39, 4425 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  5. R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  6. S. W. Sharpe, J. F. Kelly, J. S. Hartman, C. Gmachl, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Lett. 23, 1396 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  7. T. L. Myers, R. M. Williams, M. S. Taubman, C. Gmachl, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Lett. 27, 170 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  8. R. M. Williams, J. F. Kelly, J. S. Hartman, S. W. Sharpe, M. S. Taubman, J. L. Hall, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Lett. 24, 1844 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  10. R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
    [CrossRef]
  11. Ch. Salomon, D. Hils, and J. L. Hall, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 5, 1576 (1988).
    [CrossRef]
  12. A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics, 3rd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1989), pp. 592–596.
  13. C. H. Henry, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-18, 259 (1982).
    [CrossRef]
  14. K. Vahala and A. Yariv, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-19, 1096 (1983).
    [CrossRef]
  15. J. Ye, L.-S. Ma, and J. L. Hall, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 15, 6 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  16. L. Gianfrani, R. W. Fox, and L. Hollberg, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 2247 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  17. C. Ishibashi and H. Sasada, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, 920 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  18. M. S. Taubman, H. Wiseman, D. E. McClelland, and H.-A. Bachor, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 12, 1792 (1995).
    [CrossRef]
  19. T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  20. D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
    [CrossRef]
  21. The tracking filter was based on a design invented by John L. Hall of JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Colorado, Boulder Colo.
  22. D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
    [CrossRef]

2002 (3)

F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, and A. Y. Cho, Phys. Today 55(5), 34 (2002).
[CrossRef]

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

T. L. Myers, R. M. Williams, M. S. Taubman, C. Gmachl, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Lett. 27, 170 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2000 (2)

1999 (3)

1998 (2)

1995 (1)

1994 (1)

J. Faist, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, C. Sirtori, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Science 264, 553 (1994).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1992 (1)

T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
[CrossRef]

1988 (1)

1986 (1)

D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
[CrossRef]

1983 (2)

K. Vahala and A. Yariv, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-19, 1096 (1983).
[CrossRef]

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

1982 (2)

C. H. Henry, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-18, 259 (1982).
[CrossRef]

D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
[CrossRef]

1973 (1)

R. L. Barger, M. S. Sorem, and J. L. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 22, 573 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Bachor, H.-A.

Baillargeon, J. N.

Barger, R. L.

R. L. Barger, M. S. Sorem, and J. L. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 22, 573 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Bethea, C.

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Byer, R. L.

T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Capasso, F.

Cho, A. Y.

Curl, R. F.

Day, T.

T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Drever, R. W. P.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Elliott, D. S.

D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Faist, J.

J. Faist, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, C. Sirtori, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Science 264, 553 (1994).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Faller, J. E.

D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Ford, G. M.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Fox, R. W.

Gianfrani, L.

Gmachl, C.

Gustafson, E. K.

T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Hall, J. L.

R. M. Williams, J. F. Kelly, J. S. Hartman, S. W. Sharpe, M. S. Taubman, J. L. Hall, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Opt. Lett. 24, 1844 (1999).
[CrossRef]

J. Ye, L.-S. Ma, and J. L. Hall, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 15, 6 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Ch. Salomon, D. Hils, and J. L. Hall, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 5, 1576 (1988).
[CrossRef]

D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
[CrossRef]

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

R. L. Barger, M. S. Sorem, and J. L. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 22, 573 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Hartman, J. S.

Henry, C. H.

C. H. Henry, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-18, 259 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Hils, D.

Ch. Salomon, D. Hils, and J. L. Hall, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 5, 1576 (1988).
[CrossRef]

D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Hollberg, L.

Hough, J.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Hutchinson, A. L.

Hwang, H. Y.

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Ishibashi, C.

C. Ishibashi and H. Sasada, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, 920 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Kelly, J. F.

Kosterev, A. A.

Kowalski, F. V.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Ma, L.-S.

Martini, R.

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

McClelland, D. E.

Munley, A. J.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Myers, T. L.

Paiella, R.

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Remillard, J. T.

Roy, R.

D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Salomon, Ch.

Sasada, H.

C. Ishibashi and H. Sasada, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, 920 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Sharpe, S. W.

Sirtori, C.

J. Faist, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, C. Sirtori, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Science 264, 553 (1994).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sivco, D. L.

Smith, S. J.

D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Sorem, M. S.

R. L. Barger, M. S. Sorem, and J. L. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 22, 573 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Taubman, M. S.

Tittel, F. K.

Uy, D.

Vahala, K.

K. Vahala and A. Yariv, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-19, 1096 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Ward, H.

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Weber, W. H.

Whittaker, E. A.

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Williams, R. M.

Wiseman, H.

Yariv, A.

K. Vahala and A. Yariv, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-19, 1096 (1983).
[CrossRef]

A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics, 3rd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1989), pp. 592–596.

Ye, J.

Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. B (1)

R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, Appl. Phys. B 31, 97 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

R. L. Barger, M. S. Sorem, and J. L. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 22, 573 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Electron. Lett. (1)

R. Martini, C. Bethea, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, R. Paiella, E. A. Whittaker, H. Y. Hwang, D. L. Sivco, J. N. Baillargeon, and A. Y. Cho, Electron. Lett. 38, 181 (2002).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (3)

T. Day, E. K. Gustafson, and R. L. Byer, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 28, 1106 (1992).
[CrossRef]

C. H. Henry, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-18, 259 (1982).
[CrossRef]

K. Vahala and A. Yariv, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-19, 1096 (1983).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (4)

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. (1)

C. Ishibashi and H. Sasada, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, 920 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (3)

Phys. Rev. A (1)

D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, Phys. Rev. A 26, 12 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Today (1)

F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, and A. Y. Cho, Phys. Today 55(5), 34 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Rev. Sci. Instrum. (1)

D. Hils, J. E. Faller, and J. L. Hall, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87, 2532 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Science (1)

J. Faist, F. Capasso, D. L. Sivco, C. Sirtori, A. L. Hutchinson, and A. Y. Cho, Science 264, 553 (1994).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Other (2)

The tracking filter was based on a design invented by John L. Hall of JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Colorado, Boulder Colo.

A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics, 3rd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1989), pp. 592–596.

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Figures (2)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Experimental diagram showing the beams from the QCLs reflecting from 50% beam splitters and being coupled into optical cavities by optical circulators made from wire-grid polarizers (WGPs) and quarter-wave rhombs (λ/4’s). The light reflected from the cavities is incident upon detectors D1 and D2. Light from the two cavity-locked QCLs is combined on a third 50% beam splitter and directed onto heterodyne beat detector D3, whose signal is monitored on either a swept spectrum of a fast-Fourier-transform spectrum analyzer. When the tracking servo is active, it removes low-frequency differential noise by acting on the length of cavity 1 by means of a piezoelectric element mounted on one mirror.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Heterodyne spectra of two cavity-locked quantum-cascade laser systems: (a) shows the principal beat and 2-kHz-spaced acoustic noise structures and (b) was taken with a smaller span and RBW to show only the central feature and a Voigt fit to this feature.

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