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Appl Opt. 2001 Sep 20;40(27):4904-10.

Ultrasensitive absorption spectroscopy with a high-finesse optical cavity and off-axis alignment.


A simple and easy to use method that allows high-finesse optical cavities to be used as absorption cells for spectroscopic purposes is presented. This method introduces a single-mode continuous-wave laser into the cavity by use of an off-axis cavity alignment geometry to eliminate systematically the resonances commonly associated with optical cavities, while preserving the absorption signal amplifying properties of such cavities. This considerably reduces the complexity of the apparatus compared with other high-resolution cavity-based absorption methods. Application of this technique in conjunction with either cavity ringdown spectroscopy or integrated cavity output spectroscopy produced absorption sensitivities of 1.5 x 10(-9) cm(-1) Hz(-1/2) and 1.8 x 10(-10) cm(-1) Hz(-1/2), respectively.


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