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Frequency stabilization to 6 × 10−16 via spectral-hole burning


We demonstrate two-stage laser stabilization based on a combination of Fabry–Pérot and spectral-hole burning techniques. The laser is first pre-stabilized by the Fabry–Pérot cavity to a fractional-frequency stability of σy(τ) < 1 × 10−13. A pattern of multiple spectral holes written in the absorption spectrum of Eu3+:Y2SiO5 serves to further stabilize the laser to σy(τ) ≤ 6 × 10−16 for 2 s ≤ τ ≤ 8 s. We also measure the frequency sensitivity of Eu3+:Y2SiO5 spectral holes to environmental perturbations including temperature (16 kHz K−2), pressure (211.4 Hz Pa−1) and acceleration (7 × 10−12 g−1). Each spectral hole sensitivity parameter is lower than the corresponding parameter for Fabry–Pérot cavities, suggesting that spectral holes can be more frequency-stable.

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Figure 1: The Eu3+:Y2SiO5 spectroscopy and laser stabilization experimental set-up.
Figure 2: Eu3+:Y2SiO5 absorption spectrum and crystal housing.
Figure 3: Pressure and temperature sensitivity of the spectral-hole frequency for spectral sites 1 and 2.
Figure 4: Laser stabilization to multiple spectral holes.


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M.J.T. acknowledges support from the National Research Council. The authors thank R.L. Cone, J.C. Bergquist, J. Ye, J.L. Hall and D.J. Wineland for useful discussions, and D.R. Leibrandt and J.A. Sherman for help with manuscript preparation. This work is supported by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research and is not subject to US copyright.

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M.J.T., T.R. and L.R. designed the experiments. M.J.T., T.M.F. and M.S.K. performed the experiments. M.J.T. and T.R. conducted the data analysis. M.J.T., T.R., L.R. and M.S.K. wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Michael J. Thorpe.

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Thorpe, M., Rippe, L., Fortier, T. et al. Frequency stabilization to 6 × 10−16 via spectral-hole burning. Nature Photon 5, 688–693 (2011).

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