Nonlinear spectroscopy with a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)
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We have evaluated the suitability of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diode (VCSEL) for spectroscopic applications. Despite its low output power it is possible to observe narrow resonances in a saturated absorption spectroscopy experiment on the cesium D2 transition at 852 nm, limited in width by the laser linewidth of several tens of MHz. High modulation efficiency of the VCSEL allows us to create modulation sidebands at 9.2 GHz frequency via direct modulation of the laser injection current. Using the carrier and either one of the sidebands coherent population trapping (CPT) resonances in a buffered cesium vapor can be prepared with linewidths below 130 Hz. With this very compact setup we have studied the dependence of CPT resonance position and linewidth as a function of optical detuning and find evidence of the influence of the excited state hyperfine structure.
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