Feed-forward coherent link from a comb to a diode laser: Application to widely tunable cavity ring-down spectroscopy
We apply a feed-forward frequency control scheme to establish a phase-coherent link from an optical frequency comb to a distributed feedback (DFB) diode laser: This allows us to exploit the full laser tuning range (up to 1 THz) with the linewidth and frequency accuracy of the comb modes. The approach relies on the combination of an RF single-sideband modulator (SSM) and of an electro-optical SSM, providing a correction bandwidth in excess of 10 MHz and a comb-referenced RF-driven agile tuning over several GHz. As a demonstration, we obtain a 0.3 THz cavity ring-down scan of the low-pressure methane absorption spectrum. The spectral resolution is 100 kHz, limited by the self-referenced comb, starting from a DFB diode linewidth of 3 MHz. To illustrate the spectral resolution, we obtain saturation dips for the 2ν3 R(6) methane multiplet at μbar pressure. Repeated measurements of the Lamb-dip positions provide a statistical uncertainty in the kHz range.