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Optical Flywheel for Yb+ Ion Clock, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

OEwaves Inc. offers to develop and demonstrate an extended cavity ultra-stable 436 nm diode laser system that features the properties required for long duration space applications. The system will be based on a semiconductor laser locked to a monolithic microcavity using self injection locking technique. This technique results in a complete suppression of mode hops in the laser during its operational lifetime. The microcavity will not only stabilize the frequency of the laser, but will also be used to measure and stabilize the power of the laser. Furthermore, the microcavity provides a modulatable laser that features exceptionally low residual amplitude modulation, allowing a robust lock to the clock transition of interest. The laser is intended as an optical local oscillator (LO) suitable for Yb+ ion clock. The LO will include a semiconductor diode laser stabilized to a millimeter scale monolithic reference resonator. The reference resonator is a high quality factor (Q) and narrow-linewidth dielectric whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonator that is thermally compensated to produce a vanishingly small temperature coefficient. The LO will deliver the same performance as the best existing high-end laboratory Fabry-Perot resonator-based LOs--which are large, expensive, and fragile table-mounted instruments--but in a robust, 100 cc volume module that is inexpensive and consumes small power. More »

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