Miniaturized External Cavity Diode Lasers (ECDL) for precision spectroscopy and cold atoms applications

Antonello Matteo, TOPTICA Photonics

Miniaturization and simplification are two of the strongest demands of the market as well as important guidelines for the growth of a high-end systems company like TOPTICA Photonics.
Some reasons why there is a need to pursue these features are: use of scientific equipment by non-trained personnel. Think about the use of particular laser sources for microscopy techniques typical of the field of biology.
Simplification of the equipment necessary for carrying out complex scientific experiments, that would otherwise require hundreds of optical elements.
And lastly the use of scientific devices in extreme conditions, without human actions. E.g. devices for space applications, microgravity environments etc etc.
The goal of my project: the prototyping of a new generation of ECDL, called “tinyECDL”.
This device will move beyond our current generation and is targeted for those applications that require an extremely narrow and stable laser at one specific wavelength, all in a small footprint.
However, this will not be only a miniaturization. The final device will be certainly better regarding the passive stability and will have the possibility to change the cavity length during the manufacturing process, setting the linewidth as we please.
All this, having still a tunability of the order of 100GHz, however much more than that required by most applications.

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Presentation of my work at the ColOpt München Winter School.