Abstract

We have locked the frequency of a 3THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) to that of a far-infrared gas laser with a tunable microwave offset frequency. The locked QCL line shape is essentially Gaussian, with linewidths of 65 and 141kHz at the 3 and 10dB levels, respectively. The lock condition can be maintained indefinitely, without requiring temperature or bias current regulation of the QCL other than that provided by the lock error signal. The result demonstrates that a terahertz QCL can be frequency controlled with 1-part-in-108 accuracy, which is a factor of 100 better than that needed for a local oscillator in a heterodyne receiver for atmospheric and astronomic spectroscopy.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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