Locking and laser-frequency tracking of a microsphere whispering-gallery mode

Jeromy P. Rezac, Albert T. Rosenberger, Alexis V. Kudryashov, Alan H. Paxton
2001 Laser Resonators IV  
We report advances in compression tuning of fused-silica microsphere whispering-gallery resonances and a practical use of the improved compression tuner. The advances include extending the tuning range and enhancing the tuner's response speed; these lead to the new application of using the tuner to lock to a laser, keeping a single whispering-gallery mode on resonance as the laser frequency is scanned. The resonance frequency of the mode to be locked is weakly modulated by axial compression of
more » ... he microsphere, and phase-sensitive detection of the fiber-coupled optical throughput is used for locking. Using a laser wavelength of either 1570 nm or 830 nm, we demonstrate a locked tracking range exceeding 30 GHz for a microsphere of 120 GHz free spectral range. The improved tuner design that makes this application possible allows coarse tuning over 1 THz and piezoelectric tuning over 80 GHz. Compression modulation rates of up to 13 kHz have also been achieved with this tuner, producing a tuning speed of at least 16 GHz/ms.
doi:10.1117/12.424662 fatcat:477mshilsbav5kueobqaqslize