Abstract

We demonstrate novel modulation-free frequency locking of a diode laser, utilizing a simple Sagnac interferometer to create an error signal from saturated-absorption spectroscopy. The interference condition at the output of the Sagnac is strongly affected by the sharp dispersion feature near an atomic resonance. Slight misalignment of the interferometer and subsequent spatially selective, or tilt, detection allows this phase change to be converted into an error signal. Tilt locking has significant advantages over previously described methods, as it requires only a small number of low-cost optical components and a detector. In addition, the system has the potential to be constructed as a plug-and-play fiber-coupled monolithic device to provide submegahertz stability for lasers in the commercial market.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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