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Modulation-free Laser Stabilization Technique Using Integrated Cavity-Coupled Mach-Zehnder Interferometer

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posted on 2023-06-18, 16:01 authored by Mohamad Hossein Idjadi, Kwangwoong Kim
Stable narrow-linewidth light sources play a significant role in many precision optical systems. Electro-optic laser frequency stabilization systems, such as the well-known Pound-Drever-Hall (PDH) technique, have been key components of stable laser systems for decades. These control loops utilize an optical frequency noise discriminator (OFND) to measure frequency noise and convert it to an electronic servo signal. Despite their excellent performance, there has been a trade-off between complexity, scalability, power consumption, and noise measurement sensitivity. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a modulation-free laser stabilization technique using an integrated cavity-coupled Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) as an OFND. The proposed architecture maintains the sensitivity and performance of the PDH architecture without the need for any modulation. This significantly improves overall power consumption, simplifies the architecture, and makes it easier to miniaturize into an integrated photonic platform. An on-chip microring resonator with a loaded quality factor of 2.5 million is used as the frequency reference. The implemented chip suppresses the frequency noise of a semiconductor laser by 4 orders of magnitude. The integral linewidth of the free-running laser is suppressed from 6.1 MHz to 695 KHz. The passive implemented photonic integrated circuit occupies an area of 0.456 mm$^2$ and is integrated on AIM Photonics 180 nm silicon-on-insulator process.



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