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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Tunable external cavity diode laser using a micromachined silicon flexure and a volume holographic reflection grating for applications in atomic optics
Author(s): Ho-Chiao Chuang; Ricardo Jimenez-Martinez; Simon Braun; Dana Z. Anderson; Victor M. Bright
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Paper Abstract

We present a novel external cavity diode laser design developed for applications in atomic physics that employs a micromachined silicon flexure to sweep the laser frequency and a volume holographic reflection grating (VHG) to provide the optical feedback. The advantages of using a silicon flexure are its simple microfabrication process and reduction of the overall size of the laser system. The results demonstrate the 87Rb, 85Rb (rubidium) D2 line absorption at 780 nm in an atomic optics test experiment. Our novel laser system design has a size of 28.76×20.65×12 mm. The wavelength can be tuned and swept from 780.2463 to 780.2379 nm equivalent to 4.14 GHz using piezoelectric transducer (PZT) actuators integrated on the silicon flexure. A frequency tuning range of 17.149 GHz can be obtained by changing the VHG temperature. The deflection of the silicon flexure is 129.19 nm. The advantage of combining a VHG and a silicon flexure is that the frequency can be coarsely tuned to 780.24 nm and swept at this center frequency with a range of 4.14 GHz by PZT. Moreover, the frequency fine tuning can be achieved by changing the VHG temperature to observe the rubidium spectrum. The laser output power is measured as 59 mW at 780.2474 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2008
PDF: 13 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 7(2) 021010 doi: 10.1117/1.2911630
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 7, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Ho-Chiao Chuang, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
Ricardo Jimenez-Martinez, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
Simon Braun, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
Dana Z. Anderson, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
Victor M. Bright, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)


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