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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 238; doi:10.3390/s16020238

Tunable Microcavity-Stabilized Quantum Cascade Laser for Mid-IR High-Resolution Spectroscopy and Sensing

1
CNR-INO – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, FI, Italy
2
LENS – European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Via Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
3
INFN – Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Firenze, via G. Sansone 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
4
INRIM – Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica, Strada delle Cacce 91, 10135 Torino, Italy
5
OEwaves Inc., 465 North Halstead Street, Suite 140, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
6
Development Bureau Laser Device R & D Group, Hamamatsu Photonics KK, Shizuoka 434-8601, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Spagnolo
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2016 / Published: 17 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrared and THz Sensing and Imaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [969 KB, uploaded 17 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

The need for highly performing and stable methods for mid-IR molecular sensing and metrology pushes towards the development of more and more compact and robust systems. Among the innovative solutions aimed at answering the need for stable mid-IR references are crystalline microresonators, which have recently shown excellent capabilities for frequency stabilization and linewidth narrowing of quantum cascade lasers with compact setups. In this work, we report on the first system for mid-IR high-resolution spectroscopy based on a quantum cascade laser locked to a CaF2 microresonator. Electronic locking narrows the laser linewidth by one order of magnitude and guarantees good stability over long timescales, allowing, at the same time, an easy way for finely tuning the laser frequency over the molecular absorption line. Improvements in terms of resolution and frequency stability of the source are demonstrated by direct sub-Doppler recording of a molecular line. View Full-Text
Keywords: sub-Doppler spectroscopy; quantum cascade lasers; laser stabilization; whispering gallery mode resonators; crystalline resonators; infrared resonator sub-Doppler spectroscopy; quantum cascade lasers; laser stabilization; whispering gallery mode resonators; crystalline resonators; infrared resonator
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Borri, S.; Siciliani de Cumis, M.; Insero, G.; Bartalini, S.; Cancio Pastor, P.; Mazzotti, D.; Galli, I.; Giusfredi, G.; Santambrogio, G.; Savchenkov, A.; Eliyahu, D.; Ilchenko, V.; Akikusa, N.; Matsko, A.; Maleki, L.; De Natale, P. Tunable Microcavity-Stabilized Quantum Cascade Laser for Mid-IR High-Resolution Spectroscopy and Sensing. Sensors 2016, 16, 238.

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