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Precise frequency-difference measurement between the 1.66-µm transitions of methane

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Abstract

We determined 66 frequency differences (FD’s) between rovibrational lines of methane at the 1.66-µm region. Following the technique developed by Nakagawa, et al. [Opt. Lett. 20, 410 (1995)], we measured the FD’s as the optical beat frequency between two external-cavity diode lasers locked at 1-MHz-wide saturated absorption dips of the methane lines. Even though the methane lines often overlap in Doppler-limited resolution, the spectrometer that we use resolves them and determines their FD’s with better than 40-kHz precision. This fact demonstrates that the methane lines are promising candidates for frequency reference and that this technique has great potential for high-resolution molecular spectroscopy.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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