, Volume 93, Issue 2-3, pp 355-360
Date: 19 Oct 2008

Optical feedback cavity ring-down technique for accurate measurement of ultra-high reflectivity

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Abstract

A novel cavity ring-down (CRD) technique, based on the optical feedback effect of Fabry–Perot diode lasers, is developed for accurate reflectivity measurement of highly reflective cavity mirrors. The strong optical feedback, including the direct reflection from the front cavity mirror of a linear ring-down cavity, is re-injected into the oscillator cavity of the diode laser, and large resonant peaks are observed in the ring-down cavity output signals. The diode laser is switched off by a threshold circuit when the amplitude of a resonant peak exceeds a pre-defined threshold. Exponentially decayed signals recorded immediately after switching off the laser are used to determine the cavity decay time. The ultra-high reflectivity of cavity mirrors is measured to be 99.99606% with a reproducibility of 0.00003%. Compared with the previous phase-shift CRD technique, the signal-to-noise ratio of the cavity output signals is improved with an enhancement factor of over 100.