Abstract

A two-propagation-axis solid-state laser is shown to provide a widely tunable optical microwave source. The spatial separation of the laser eigenstates is shown to enable an étalon to act as a coarse tuner, forcing oscillation in any nonadjacent cavity modes. The frequency difference between opposite helicoidal eigenstates operating in nonadjacent cavity modes can then be tuned continuously. The beat note from such a solid-state laser is shown to vary from dc to 26  GHz, i.e., 30 times the laser free-spectral range, and is limited only by the free-spectral range of the étalon.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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