Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-4-2016

Publication Title

New Journal of Physics

ISSN

1367-2630

Volume

18

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/18/4/045001

Abstract

We demonstrate an ultralow-noise microrod-resonator based laser that oscillates on the gain supplied by the stimulated Brillouin scattering optical nonlinearity. Microresonator Brillouin lasers are known to offer an outstanding frequency noise floor, which is limited by fundamental thermal fluctuations. Here, we show experimental evidence that thermal effects also dominate the close-to-carrier frequency fluctuations. The 6 mm diameter microrod resonator used in our experiments has a large optical mode area of ~100 μm2, and hence its 10 ms thermal time constant filters the close-to-carrier optical frequency noise. The result is an absolute laser linewidth of 240 Hz with a corresponding white-frequency noise floor of 0.1 Hz2 Hz−1. We explain the steady-state performance of this laser by measurements of its operation state and of its mode detuning and lineshape. Our results highlight a mechanism for noise that is common to many microresonator devices due to the inherent coupling between intracavity power and mode frequency. We demonstrate the ability to reduce this noise through a feedback loop that stabilizes the intracavity power.

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