Abstract

We introduce optical feedback frequency stabilized cavity ring-down spectroscopy (OFFS-CRDS), a near-shot-noise-limited technique that combines kilohertz resolution with an absorption detection sensitivity of 5×1013cm1Hz1/2. Its distributed feedback laser source is stabilized to a highly stable V-shaped reference cavity by optical feedback and fine-tuned by means of single-sideband modulation. The stability of this narrow laser is transferred to a ring-down (RD) cavity using a new fibered Pound–Drever–Hall (PDH) locking scheme without a dedicated electro-optic phase modulator, yielding several hundred RD events per second. We demonstrate continuous coverage of more than 7 nm with a baseline noise of 5×1012cm1 and a dynamic range spanning six decades. With its resonant intracavity light intensity on the order of 1kW/cm2, the spectrometer was used for observing a Lamb dip in a transition of carbon dioxide involving four vibrational quanta. Saturating such a weak transition at 160 μW input power, OFFS-CRDS paves the way to Doppler-free molecular overtone spectroscopy for precision measurements of hyperfine structures and pressure shifts.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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