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Journal Article

Laser-Frequency Stabilization via a Quasimonolithic Mach-Zehnder Interferometer with Arms of Unequal Length and Balanced dc Readout

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Gerberding,  Oliver
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Mehmet,  Moritz
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Danzmann,  Karsten
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Heinzel,  Gerhard
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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1610.09684.pdf
(Preprint), 745KB

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Citation

Gerberding, O., Isleif, K.-S., Mehmet, M., Danzmann, K., & Heinzel, G. (2017). Laser-Frequency Stabilization via a Quasimonolithic Mach-Zehnder Interferometer with Arms of Unequal Length and Balanced dc Readout. Physical Review Applied, 7: 024027. doi:10.1103/PhysRevApplied.7.024027.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-3A04-F
Abstract
Low frequency high precision laser interferometry is subject to excess laser frequency noise coupling via arm-length differences which is commonly mitigated by locking the frequency to a stable reference system. This is crucial to achieve picometer level sensitivities in the 0.1 mHz to 1 Hz regime, where laser frequency noise is usually high and couples into the measurement phase via arm-length mismatches in the interferometers. Here we describe the results achieved by frequency stabilising an external cavity diode laser to a quasi-monolithic unequal arm-length Mach-Zehnder interferometer read out at mid-fringe via balanced detection. This stabilisation scheme has been found to be an elegant solution combining a minimal number of optical components, no additional laser modulations and relatively low frequency noise levels. The Mach-Zehnder interferometer has been designed and constructed to minimise the influence of thermal couplings and to reduce undesired stray light using the optical simulation tool IfoCAD. We achieve frequency noise levels corresponding to LISA-like (laser interferometer space antenna) displacement sensitivities below 1 pm/$\sqrt{\textrm{Hz}}$ and are able to demonstrate the LISA frequency pre-stabilisation requirement of 300 Hz/$\sqrt{\textrm{Hz}}$ down to frequencies of 100 mHz by beating the stabilised laser with an Iodine locked reference.