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Comparison of Amplitude Noise Properties of Solid State Laser Oscillators and Amplifiers
STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
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There is an ongoing need for more capable laser sources that combine high average power with quantum noise limited performance for applied physics and photonic engineering applications, including free space optical communications systems, heterodyne spectroscopy and laser interferometry for gravity wave detection. At this time, one of the most plausible laser candidates to meet the application requirements is the diode laser pumped solid state laser DPSSL. To push the state of the art of these lasers to the next level, technologists need to understand and characterize the noise properties. It is well known that amplitude and frequency-phase noises are coupled and hence it is important to characterize both frequency and amplitude noise to fully understand the noise properties of lasers. The question posed by this comparative study is, given the need for coherent optical power, on the order of tens of watts to kilowatts, what is the best amplitude noise performance attainable Will the best amplitude noise performance for a given optical output power be obtained from a laser oscillator or from a master oscillator power amplifier MOPA approach The primary technological motivation for this thesis is to understand the relative intensity noise RIN of a laser system required for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE