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External-cavity diode laser in second-order Littrow configuration

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Abstract

In this Letter, we propose and demonstrate an external-cavity diode laser in second-order Littrow configuration. This topology utilizes a low-efficiency diffraction grating to establish a high-finesse external cavity, strong optical feedback, a high polarization discrimination, and a circular TEM00 output mode. In our proof-of-concept experiment, we realized a cavity with a finesse of 1855, being, to the best of our knowledge, the highest value ever reported for a three-port–grating-coupled cavity. With optical feedback, the laser threshold of the laser diode employed was reduced by a factor of 4.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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