We present an ultrahigh-resolution saturation spectrometer based on a line-tunable carbon monoxide laser near 60 THz . A spectral resolution of 14 kHz for CO fundamental-band transitions was achieved, which improves on earlier results by one order of magnitude. A frequency-locking scheme using tunable microwave sidebands provides tunability and absolute frequency control of the CO laser on the kilohertz. Transit-time broadening and pressure broadening of the observed transitions are significantly reduced by use of expanded laser beams in a 24-m absorption cell at pressures down to 0.01 Pa. The new spectrometer is suitable for the study of saturation line shapes and the development of a new generation of frequency standards in the 60-THz region.
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