High resolution spectroscopy with a femtosecond laser frequency comb
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High resolution spectroscopy with a femtosecond laser frequency comb Vladislav Gerginov 1 Scott Diddams 2 , Albrecht Bartels 3 , Carol E. Tanner 1 and Leo Hollberg 2 1 Department of physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

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High resolution spectroscopy with a femtosecond laser frequency comb

Vladislav Gerginov1

Scott Diddams2, Albrecht Bartels3, Carol E. Tanner1 and Leo Hollberg2

1Department of physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

2National Institute of Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway M.S. 847, Boulder, CO 80305

3Gigaoptics GmbH (see exhibit)


Pulsed laser spectroscopy frequency comb

1970s: Ideas of 2-photon spectroscopy with pulsed sources from T. W. Hänsch and

V. P. Chebotaev;

“Narrow resonances of two-photon absorption of super-narrow pulses in a gas”

Y. V. Baklanov and V. P. Chebotaev, Appl. Phys. 12, 97 (1977).

“Coherent Two-Photon Excitation by Multiple Light Pulses”R. Teets, J. Eckstein, and T. W. HänschPhys. Rev. Lett. 38, 760-764 (1977).

“Two-photon spectroscopy of laser-cooled Rb using a mode-locked laser”,

M. J. Snadden, A. S. Bell, E. Riis, A. I. Ferguson,

Opt. Commun, 125, 70-76, (1996).

“High sensitivity phase spectroscopy with picosecond resolution”

J. –C. Diels, B. Atherton, S. Diddams;Proceedings of 5th European Quantum Electronics Conference, 29 195–195, (1994).

“United Time-Frequency Spectroscopy for Dynamics and Global Structure”,

A. Marian, M. C. Stowe, J. R. Lawall, D. Felinto, J. Ye, Science Express, 1105660, 2004.


Direct single-photon spectroscopy frequency comb

using a femtosecond laser

Bartels et al., Opt. Lett. 27(20) 1839, 2002

Bartels et al., Opt. Lett. 29,10,1081,2004


133 frequency combCs energy diagram and

FLFC output spectrum


Experimental setup frequency comb

Optical frequency measurements


D frequency comb1 line @ 14nW power

D2 line @ 1.5 nW power


D frequency comb1 line measurements

1V. Gerginov, K. Calkins, C. E. Tanner, A. Bartels,

J. McFerran, S. Diddams, L. Hollberg, in preparation


D frequency comb2 line measurements

1V. Gerginov, C. E. Tanner, S. Diddams, A. Bartels, L. Hollberg, PRA 70, 042505, 2004


Experimental setup frequency comb

Cs D2 line optical clock  


Cs D frequency comb2 line optical clock performance


Conclusions frequency comb

Optical frequency measurements using a single comb component;

A stable array of optical and microwave frequencies;

Potential for femtosecond-laser based optical clocks;


Typical optical references performance frequency comb

Typical optical frequency reference uncertainties:

This system: 60kHz @ 852nm (1.7×10-10)

I2 stabilized He-Ne laser: 12 kHz @ 633 nm (2.5×10-11)

I2 stabilized SHG of Nd:YAG: 5 kHz @ 532 nm (9×10-12)

Rb 2-photon stabilized diode laser: 5 kHz @ 778nm (1.2×10-11)

GPS: <1kHz with 1-2 days of averaging


  • Conclusions frequency comb

  • One-photon high resolution spectroscopy using the output of a femtosecond laser;

  • Optical frequency measurements with accuracy better than 100kHz, reaches below 10 kHz;

  • SubDoppler spectroscopy with 1nW laser power;

  • Optical and microwave output with absolute accuracy at 10-10 level;

  • Potential for femtosecond-laser based optical clocks.



D 2 line excitation
D frequency comb2 line excitation


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