Abstract

A novel optical ultrasonic detector that relies on frequency modulation of a microchip laser is proposed and demonstrated. When the laser is placed in a time-varying acoustic field, the microchip laser cavity length is periodically modulated, creating a frequency-modulated optical output in which the frequency shift is linearly proportional to the acoustic-wave amplitude. With a confocal Fabry–Perot slope filter and a Nd:YAG microchip laser operating at 1.06 μm, a detector response of 7.5 MHz/kPa was measured at an acoustic frequency of 7.75 MHz. A one-dimensional acoustic model is developed to explain the observed detector performance.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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