Construction and characterization of external cavity diode lasers for atomic physics

Kyle S. Hardman, Shayne Bennetts, John E. Debs, Carlos C.N. Kuhn, Gordon D. McDonald, Nick Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since their development in the late 1980s, cheap, reliable external cavity diode lasers (ECDLs) have replaced complex and expensive traditional dye and Titanium Sapphire lasers as the workhorse laser of atomic physics labs1, 2. Their versatility and prolific use throughout atomic physics in applications such as absorptionspectroscopy and laser cooling1, 2 makes it imperative for incoming students to gain a firm practical understanding of these lasers. This publication builds upon the seminal work by Wieman3, updating components, and providing a video tutorial. The setup, frequency locking and performance characterization of an ECDL will be described. Discussion of component selection and proper mounting of both diodes and gratings, the factors affecting mode selection within the cavity, proper alignment for optimal external feedback, optics setup for coarse and fine frequency sensitive measurements, a brief overview of laser locking techniques, and laser linewidth measurements are included.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51184
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number86
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

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