Scientific Results

Narrow linewidth quantum cascade lasers as ultra-sensitive probes of molecules

Year: 2011

Authors: Bartalini S., Borri S., Cancio P., Galli I., Giusfredi G., Mazzotti D., De Natale P.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO) – CNR, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy, and European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS), via N. Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy

Abstract: Recently, we have demonstrated that the \”intrinsic\” linewidth of Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) can go beyond the radiative lifetime of the upper level. This represents the first demonstration of a sub-radiative linewidth for any laser. The intrinsic linewidth of a QCL can be as narrow as hundreds Hz, paving new ways for ultra-sensitive and precise harnessing and detection of molecules. We are working towards full exploitation of such intrinsic properties by designing appropriate phase-lock loops and enhancement-cavities for interaction with molecules. Combination with optical-frequency-comb-synthesizers and appropriate spectroscopic techniques, like saturated-cavity-ring-down-SCAR or polarization spectroscopy can provide unprecedented sensitivity and frequency accuracy for molecular detection.

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KeyWords: Frequency accuracy; Frequency metrology; Intrinsic property; Molecular detection; Narrow-line width; Phase lock loops; Polarization spectroscopy; Quantum cascades; Radiative lifetime; Spectroscopic technique, Infrared spectroscopy; Linewidth; Molecules; Nanophotonics; Quantum cascade lasers, Infrared lasers
DOI: 10.1117/12.871401

Citations: 1
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English