Abstract

We demonstrate the possibility of extending the well-established metrological performance of optical frequency-comb synthesizers to the mid-IR region by phase locking the pump and signal lasers of a difference-frequency source to two near-IR teeth of an optical comb. An uncertainty of 800Hz (1.1×1011) in the absolute frequencies of CO2 transitions near 4.2μm has been measured by cavity-enhanced saturated-absorption spectroscopy. Prospects for the creation of a new dense set of high-quality molecular frequency standards in the IR are discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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