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Sensors 2011, 11(10), 9233-9241; doi:10.3390/s111009233
Article

A Comparison of Delayed Self-Heterodyne Interference Measurement of Laser Linewidth Using Mach-Zehnder and Michelson Interferometers

1,2,* , 1,2
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1
,
3
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2
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1,2
 and
1
1 Interdisciplinary Photonics Laboratories (iPL), School of Chemistry, University of Sydney, 2006, NSW, Australia 2 Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS), School of Physics, University of Sydney, 2006, NSW, Australia 3 SMAPS, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2011 / Revised: 13 September 2011 / Accepted: 23 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2012)
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Abstract

Linewidth measurements of a distributed feedback (DFB) fibre laser are made using delayed self heterodyne interferometry (DHSI) with both Mach-Zehnder and Michelson interferometer configurations. Voigt fitting is used to extract and compare the Lorentzian and Gaussian linewidths and associated sources of noise. The respective measurements are wL (MZI) = (1.6 ± 0.2) kHz and wL (MI) = (1.4 ± 0.1) kHz. The Michelson with Faraday rotator mirrors gives a slightly narrower linewidth with significantly reduced error. This is explained by the unscrambling of polarisation drift using the Faraday rotator mirrors, confirmed by comparing with non-rotating standard gold coated fibre end mirrors.
Keywords: coherent optical effects; heterodyne; interferometry; DFB; laser linewidth; faraday rotation; Mach-Zehnder interferometer; Michelson interferometer; Gaussian noise; Lorentzian noise coherent optical effects; heterodyne; interferometry; DFB; laser linewidth; faraday rotation; Mach-Zehnder interferometer; Michelson interferometer; Gaussian noise; Lorentzian noise
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Canagasabey, A.; Michie, A.; Canning, J.; Holdsworth, J.; Fleming, S.; Wang, H.-C.; Åslund, M.L. A Comparison of Delayed Self-Heterodyne Interference Measurement of Laser Linewidth Using Mach-Zehnder and Michelson Interferometers. Sensors 2011, 11, 9233-9241.

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