Improved Sensitivity for Frequency Modulation Laser Absorption Spectroscopy.
We have developed and implemented a two-tone harmonic frequency modulation technique to reduce the residue amplitude modulation (RAM) background in frequency modulation (FM) laser absorption spectroscopy. This RAM noise, generated during electro-optically phase modulating the laser carrier, is several orders of magnitude larger than the shot-noise detection limit. When our two-tone method was used, the RAM signal was reduced by a factor of 4. We have also provided a thorough signal-to-noise analysis which leads to a detection limit consistent with out experimental results. A vital element in the work of FM spectroscopy is the electro-optic phase modulator. We have designed and fabricated two phase modulators, both employing a lithium tantalate single crystal. The first device is a broad -band design called the traveling wave phase modulator. With microstrip transmission line construction techniques, the impedance of the device is matched to 50 Omega within a bandwidth of more than 500 MHz. The second modulator was a novel design built to provide enhanced modulation index at a resonant frequency tunable over a frequency range of approximately 350 MHz. This resonant modulator can provide the same modulation efficiency as that from the traveling wave device with as much as 50% less modulation power. Both modulators have useful applications in FM spectroscopy depending on the experimental conditions.
- Pub Date:
- January 1990
- Physics: Molecular; Physics: Optics; Engineering: Electronics and Electrical