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Appl Opt. 2008 Oct 1;47(28):5163-6.

Piezo-locking a diode laser with saturated absorption spectroscopy.

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Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Atom Optics, Department of Physics, The Australian National University, Canberra, 0200, Australia.


We demonstrate modulation-based frequency locking of an external cavity diode laser, utilizing a piezo-electrically actuated mirror, external to the laser cavity, to create an error signal from saturated absorption spectroscopy. With this method, a laser stabilized to a rubidium hyperfine transition has a FWHM of 130 kHz over seconds, making the locked laser suitable for experiments in atomic physics, such as creating and manipulating Bose-Einstein condensates. This technique combines the advantages of low-amplitude modulation, simplicity, performance, and price, factors that are usually considered to be mutually exclusive.

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