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An agile laser with ultra-low frequency noise and high sweep linearity

Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.49). 02/2010; 18:3284-3297. DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.003284

ABSTRACT We report on a fiber-stabilized agile laser with ultra-low frequency noise. The frequency noise power spectral density is comparable to that of an ultra-stable cavity stabilized laser at Fourier frequencies higher than 30 Hz. When it is chirped at a constant rate of similar to 40 MHz/s, the max non-linearity frequency error is about 50 Hz peak-to-peak over more than 600 MHz tuning range. The Rayleigh backscattering is found to be a significant frequency noise source dependent on fiber length, chirping rate and the power imbalance of the interferometer arms. We analyze this effect both theoretically and experimentally and put forward techniques to reduce this noise contribution. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America

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