A versatile digital GHz phase lock for external cavity diode lasers

Measurement Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 1.43). 05/2009; 20(5):55302. DOI: 10.1088/0957-0233/20/5/055302
Source: arXiv


We present a versatile, inexpensive and simple optical phase lock for applications in atomic physics experiments. Thanks to all-digital phase detection and implementation of beat frequency pre-scaling, the apparatus requires no microwave-range reference input and permits phase locking at frequency differences ranging from sub-MHz to 7 GHz (and with minor extension to 12 GHz). The locking range thus covers ground-state hyperfine splittings of all alkali metals, which makes this system a universal tool for many experiments on coherent interaction between light and atoms.

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    • "Broadly speaking, the implementations of laser systems for cold atom experiments fall into three categories: (i) multiple lasers (some possibly boosted using optical power amplifiers), each individually frequency-locked to an atomic absorption line or a cavity resonance, (ii) multiple lasers (some possibly power boosted), one of which is frequency locked to an absorption line, while others are tied to this master laser using heterodyne beat note locks [11], and (iii) a single laser frequency locked to an absorption line, the output of which is divided into parts that are manipulated with frequency shifters (acoustooptic devices) and sideband generation techniques (some of these parts possibly power boosted). The architecture presented in the current paper resides within the last cat* egory. "
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