中国激光, 2024, 51 (7): 0701021, 网络出版: 2024-03-29  

超稳激光频率锁定系统中干涉效应抑制与锁频电路设计

Interference Suppression and Frequency-Locking Circuit Design in Ultra-Stable Laser Systems
作者单位
1 中国科学院精密测量科学与技术创新研究院波谱与原子分子物理国家重点实验室,湖北 武汉 430071
2 中国科学院大学,北京 100049
摘要
超稳激光是精密测量领域的关键工具,其频率稳定度很大程度上取决于频率锁定稳定度。笔者理论研究了干涉效应对锁频误差信号的影响,并通过实验研究了降低干涉效应的方法,以提高激光的频率锁定稳定度。经过优化后,锁频系统的锁定稳定度相对于参考腔线宽达到了9×10-7。在参考腔线宽为21 kHz(精细度为7.5万)的情况下,将1.5 μm激光的频率稳定度锁定到4.0×10-16水平,接近10 cm参考腔的热噪声极限。本文所提降低干涉效应的方法是研制稳定度高达10-17水平的超稳激光器的重要参考。
Abstract
Objective

Ultra-stable lasers, characterized by high-frequency stability and extremely narrow linewidths, serve as vital tools in precision measurement and physics research. They find extensive applications in fields such as atomic clocks, gravitational wave detection, and quantum communication. With improvements in experimental precision, the demand for lasers with narrower linewidths and higher frequency stability has increased. Therefore, enhancing the frequency stability of ultra-stable lasers has become a significant area of research. Currently, the Pound?Drever?Hall (PDH) frequency stabilization technique is widely used for generating ultra-stable lasers. By employing this technique, the laser frequency is locked to a high-precision Fabry?Perot (FP) cavity to reduce the laser linewidth and improve frequency stability. If the feedback system has a sufficiently high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), an appropriate loop bandwidth, and gain, it can fully suppress the free-running frequency noise and drift of the laser. Ultimately, the frequency stability primarily depends on the performance of the ultra-stable cavity (reference cavity), which serves as the frequency reference, and the servo system that controls the laser frequency. Thus, enhancing the stability of the reference cavity and optimizing the performance of the frequency-locking system are critical for improving the frequency stability of ultra-stable lasers.

Methods

This study theoretically investigates the influence of interference effects on PDH locking error signals and identifies optimization directions for the optical path. In experiments, a reflection mirror was initially used instead of the reference cavity to prevent data distortion caused by laser frequency drifts when the laser operates freely and scans through the resonances of the reference cavity. Subsequently, an Agilent 34401A digital multimeter was employed to measure the voltage values of the locking error signals under different optical path conditions. The stabilities of the locking error were calculated and compared under different optical path designs. Finally, the optimal design for reducing interference effects in the optical path was chosen. A self-developed photodetector and frequency-locking circuit were used to stabilize the laser frequency to a 10 cm reference cavity. To enhance the stability of the length of the reference cavity, it was enclosed within a vacuum chamber using a transportable mounting structure. Additionally, a Peltier temperature control system was installed inside the vacuum chamber to maintain the cavity temperature near the zero-crossing point of its coefficient of thermal expansion. The entire system was positioned on an active vibration isolation platform. We replicated this setup to create two independent ultra-stable laser systems. The two beams of ultra-stable lasers were combined using a fiber combiner and directed to a high-speed photodetector for beat-note detection. Beat-note frequencies were collected using a Microchip 53100A phase noise analyzer, which was used to evaluate the frequency stability of the locked lasers.

Results and Discussions

The study reveals that adding isolators and wave plates after an electro-optic modulator (EOM) can effectively suppress interference in the optical path (Fig. 2). After optimization, the relative stability of the locked frequency system reaches 9×10-7. The reference cavity's vibration sensitivity (Table 1, Fig. 7) and temperature instability (Fig. 9) are both sufficiently low, such that the impact of vibration noise and environmental temperature fluctuations on cavity length stability is overshadowed by that of thermal noise. With a reference cavity linewidth of 21 kHz (precision of 75000), the frequency stability of a 1.5 μm laser is locked at the 4.0×10-16 level (Fig. 10), which is approaching the thermal noise limit of the 10 cm reference cavity.

Conclusions

This study theoretically analyzes the influence of interference effects in the optical path on PDH frequency locking error signals and experimentally studies effective methods for reducing these effects. We develop two independent 1.5 μm ultra-stable lasers locked onto two 10 cm ULE reference cavities. Through mutual comparison, the short-term stability of each individual laser is evaluated. The stability reaches 4.6×10-16 for integration times of 1 s and 4.0×10-16 for integration times in the range 2?5 s. This ultra-stable laser system, which utilizes a 1.5 μm polarization-maintaining optical fiber output, is suitable for application in long-distance optical frequency transfer and quantum communication. The study on eliminating interference effects in the optical path provides a reference for future development of ultra-stable lasers with frequency stability at the level of 10-17.

肖锐, 晏北飞, 蔡桢荻, 方鹏程, 徐晏琪, 王艳, 孙焕尧, 陈群峰. 超稳激光频率锁定系统中干涉效应抑制与锁频电路设计[J]. 中国激光, 2024, 51(7): 0701021. Rui Xiao, Beifei Yan, Zhendi Cai, Pengcheng Fang, Yanqi Xu, Yan Wang, Huanyao Sun, Qunfeng Chen. Interference Suppression and Frequency-Locking Circuit Design in Ultra-Stable Laser Systems[J]. Chinese Journal of Lasers, 2024, 51(7): 0701021.

引用该论文: TXT   |   EndNote

相关论文

加载中...

关于本站 Cookie 的使用提示

中国光学期刊网使用基于 cookie 的技术来更好地为您提供各项服务,点击此处了解我们的隐私策略。 如您需继续使用本网站,请您授权我们使用本地 cookie 来保存部分信息。
全站搜索
您最值得信赖的光电行业旗舰网络服务平台!