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Spectrally resolved cavity ring down measurement of high reflectivity mirrors using a supercontinuum laser source

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Abstract

We investigate a cavity ring down setup that offers the possibility to measure the spectrally resolved reflectivities of high reflectivity mirrors. The setup consists of a resonator (ring down cavity) and an intensified CCD camera system combined with a spectrograph for spectral resolution. A commercial supercontinuum laser (3501750nm) is applied as a compact excitation source. It is based on a photonic crystal fiber that is pumped by a q-switched microchip laser (1.6ns pulse duration, 25kHz repetition rate). This combination allows simultaneously recording the transmittance of the cavity over a wide wavelength range determined by the excitation source and the spectral sensitivity of the detector. The photon lifetimes inside the cavity (ring down times) are measured with high spectral resolution by means of an intensified camera system. Subsequently shifting the “gate” of the image intensifier from short to long delay times after the excitation pulse allows calculation of the reflectivity spectrum of the mirrors. Comparison of these results with measurements using a conventional setup (laser diode 675nm and photomultiplier tube) clearly shows the high potential of the method due to the multichannel excitation and the detection scheme.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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