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Semiconductor laser linewidth reduction by six orders of magnitude via delayed optical feedback

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Abstract

We demonstrate a coherence increase by six orders of magnitude of a standard quantum well semiconductor laser. Using a simple, optical-fiber-based feedback scheme, we stabilize the laser in a high-gain mode of a long external cavity. In a modified self-heterodyne measurement, we mix the high-gain mode with a strongly suppressed side mode and obtain an interference linewidth of only 12.6 Hz, corresponding to a decoherence of (3.1±2.9) Hz. In an independent characterization using an etalon, we deduce an upper limit of 300 Hz for the laser linewidth. The laser stably resides in this mode for tens of seconds. Our results agree with theoretical predictions.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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