A microwave phase-control scheme is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. Two lasers are combined in an optical fiber coupler to generate a beat signal. The beat frequency is tuned by controlling the frequency of one laser. Using the phase shift of the beat waves with different frequencies during the propagation in an optical fiber, the phase of the radio-frequency (RF) signal generated by a photodetector (PD) can be controlled. Using the phase shift during the propagation of beat waves in an optical fiber with different beat frequencies, the phase of the RF signal generated by a PD connected to the fiber can be controlled. A tunable phase shift ranging from 0 deg to 1400 deg is obtained for frequencies from 6 to 10 GHz. This scheme offers the advantages of fast tuning and precise phase control of an RF signal.
Broad-band infrared (IR) spectroscopy, especially at high spectral resolution, is a largely unexplored area for the far IR (FIR) and submm wavelength region due to the lack of proper grating technology to produce high resolution within the very constrained volume and weight required for space mission instruments. High resolution FIR spectroscopy is an essential tool to resolve many atomic and molecular lines to measure physical and chemical conditions and processes in the environments where galaxy, star and planets form. A silicon immersion grating (SIG), due to its over three times high dispersion over a traditional reflective grating, offers a compact and low cost design of new generation IR high resolution spectrographs for space missions. A prototype SIG high resolution spectrograph, called Florida IR Silicon immersion grating spectromeTer (FIRST), has been developed at UF and was commissioned at a 2 meter robotic telescope at Fairborn Observatory in Arizona. The SIG with 54.74 degree blaze angle, 16.1 l/mm groove density, and 50x86 mm2 grating area has produced R=50,000 in FIRST. The 1.4-1.8 um wavelength region is completely covered in a single exposure with a 2kx2k H2RG IR array. The on-sky performance meets the science requirements for ground-based high resolution spectroscopy. Further studies show that this kind of SIG spectrometer with an airborne 2m class telescope such as SOFIA can offer highly sensitive spectroscopy with R~20,000-30,000 at 20 to 55 microns. Details about the on-sky measurement performance of the FIRST prototype SIG spectrometer and its predicted performance with the SOFIA 2.4m telescope are introduced.
Silicon immersion gratings (SIGs) offer several advantages over the commercial echelle gratings for high
resolution infrared (IR) spectroscopy: 3.4 times the gain in dispersion or ~10 times the reduction in the
instrument volume, a multiplex gain for a large continuous wavelength coverage and low cost. We
present results from lab characterization of a large format SIG of astronomical observation quality. This
SIG, with a 54.74 degree blaze angle (R1.4), 16.1 l/mm groove density, and 50x86 mm2 grating area, was
developed for high resolution IR spectroscopy (R~70,000) in the near IR (1.1-2.5 μm). Its entrance
surface was coated with a single layer of silicon nitride antireflection (AR) coating and its grating surface
was coated with a thin layer of gold to increase its throughput at 1.1-2.5 m. The lab measurements have
shown that the SIG delivered a spectral resolution of R=114,000 at 1.55 m with a lab testing
spectrograph with a 20 mm diameter pupil. The measured peak grating efficiency is 72% at 1.55 m,
which is consistent with the measurements in the optical wavelengths from the grating surface at the air
side. This SIG is being implemented in a new generation cryogenic IR spectrograph, called the Florida IR
Silicon immersion grating spectrometer (FIRST), to offer broad-band high resolution IR spectroscopy
with R=72,000 at 1.4-1.8 um under a typical seeing condition in a single exposure with a 2kx2k H2RG IR
array at the robotically controlled Tennessee State University 2-meter Automatic Spectroscopic Telescope
(AST) at Fairborn Observatory in Arizona. FIRST is designed to provide high precision Doppler
measurements (~4 m/s) for the identification and characterization of extrasolar planets, especially rocky
planets in habitable zones, orbiting low mass M dwarf stars. It will also be used for other high resolution
IR spectroscopic observations of such as young stars, brown dwarfs, magnetic fields, star formation and
interstellar mediums. An optimally designed SIG of the similar size can be used in the Silicon Immersion
Grating Spectrometer (SIGS) to fill the need for high resolution spectroscopy at mid IR to far IR (~25-300 μm) for the NASA SOFIA airborne mission in the future.
In the advancing field of gravitational wave interferometry, the desire for greater sensitivity leads to higher laser powers to reduce shot noise. Current detectors such as LIGO and GEO 600 operate with continuous wave lasers at 10-15 W powers, however future versions will operate at 200 W. One of the major challenges of higher power operation is the creation of thermal lenses in optical components, caused by from the absorption of laser light, yielding optical path deformation and concomitant beam aberrations. This effect is especially problematic in transmissive optical components even at very low levels of absorbed power. In environments that restrict the ability to move optical components (such as gravitational wave detectors), this effect can be used for beneficial purposes, specifically for providing adjustable beam-shaping. The method employs an additional laser having a wavelength strongly absorbed by the substrate and can create an aberration-free parabolic lens can be created provided that the heating beam mode is
substantially larger than the transmitted beam mode. The resulting focal length varies inversely with the heating laser power. This idea forms the basis for an adaptive optical telescope. We present experimental and theoretical results on a laser adaptive mode-matching system that uses an argon laser absorbed in a color glass filter. We characterize the dynamic focal range of the lens and measure the resulting aberrations in the transmitted Nd:YAG beam. Our results are in good agreement with a theoretical model incorporating the temperature distribution of the lens and the relevant thermo-optic parameters.
An optical modulator based on the physical properties of high temperature superconductors has been fabricated and tested. The modulator was constructed form a film of Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide (YBCO) grown on undoped silicon with a buffer layer of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia. Standard lithographic procedures were used to pattern the superconducting film into a micro bridge. Optical modulation was achieved by passing IR light through the composite structure normal to the micro bridge and switching the superconducting film in the bridge region between the superconducting and non-superconducting states. In the superconducting state, IR light reflects from the superconducting film surface. When a critical current is passed through the micro bridge, it causes the film in this region to switch to the non-superconducting state allowing IR light to pass through it. Superconducting materials have the potential to switch between these two states at speeds up to 1 picosecond using electrical current. Presently, fiber optic transmission capacity is limited by the rate at which optical data can be modulated. The superconducting modulator, when combined with other components, may have the potential to increase the transmission capacity of fiber optic lines.
A facility for performing time-resolved infrared spectroscopy has been developed at the NSLS, primarily at beamline U12IR. The pulsed IR light from the synchrotron is used to perform pump-probe spectroscopy. We present here a description of the facility and results for the relaxation of photoexcitations in both a semiconductor and superconductor.
Coherent synchrotron radiation from the NSLS VUV ring has been detected and partially characterized. The observations have been performed at the new far infrared beamline U12IR. The coherent radiation is peaked near a wavelength of 7 mm and occurs in short duration bursts. The bursts occur only when the electron beam current (I) exceeds a threshold value (Ith), which itself varies with ring operating conditions. Beyond threshold, the average intensity of the emission is found to increase as (I-Ith)2. The coherent emission implies micro-bunching of the electron beam due to a longitudinal instability.
The LIGO (laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory) detector is a complex Fabry-Perot/Michelson interferometer, designed to detect gravitational waves (GW) from astrophysical sources. When a GW strikes the detector, the underlying space will be extended in one direction and contracted in the orthogonal direction. The LIGO detector is designed to detect this space-strain, as a relative change in the lengths of the mutually orthogonal arms. Because this strain is much smaller than the arm length (typically 1 part in 1021), each arm is in the form of an optical resonator, effectively increasing the arm length and, hence, its change for a given strain. The arm-length change is measured as the relative phase shift at the beam splitter. To cope with the tiny phase shift, LIGO detects it as a beat signal between a carrier frequency and a side band frequency at the signal port (also called the dark port) of the Michelson interferometer. The side band is generated by phase-modulating the carrier frequency; the modulation frequency is chosen, so that the side band is far off resonance with the resonators in the arms, while the carrier frequency is on resonance. In this way, the phase shift associated with a relative arm-length change can be detected as amplitude modulation at the modulation frequency.
Electron synchrotron storage rings, such as the VUV ring at the National Synchrotron Light Source, product short pulses of IR radiation suitable for investigating time-dependent phenomena in a variety of interesting experimental systems. In contrast to other pulsed sources of IR, the synchrotron produces a continuum spectral output over the entire IR (and beyond), though at power levels typically below those obtained from laser systems. The infrared synchrotron radiation source is therefore well-suited as a probe using standard FTIR spectroscopic techniques. Here we describe the pump-probe spectroscopy facility being established at the NSLS and demonstrate the technique by measuring the photocarrier decay in a semiconductor.
The undoped phases of the copper-oxide materials are antiferromagnetic insulators, with a gap of 1.5 - 2 eV. Infrared spectroscopy of these compounds reveals weak absorption, possibly of magnetic origin, in this gap. When the materials are doped, oscillator strength is removed from the charge transfer band. This oscillator strength moves to low frequency, to become midinfrared and free carrier absorption. A systematic study of the electron-doped Nd2- xCexCuO4-y system reveals that the growth of low-frequency oscillator strength with doping concentration x is twice as rapid as in the case of hole-doped materials, such as La2-xSrxCuO4. This behavior is in accord with electronic structure models based on the 3-band Hubbard model and inconsistent with one-band behavior. However, an anomaly occurs for samples which are doped to the critical concentration for superconductivity; these have a greater than expected free-carrier concentration and weaker charge-transfer bands.
The transient thermal photoresponse of YBCO thin epitaxial films is calculated for conditions comparable to those frequently used in actual photoresponse measurements. At low light fluences and low bias currents, the calculations are in accord with a linear bolometric response. At higher fluences and bias currents, the thermal response displays behaviors often attributed to a non-bolometric mechanism. This is particularly true for the response decay time, which can decrease as the temperature falls through Tc. Some comparisons with experiment are presented, and it is concluded that a careful analysis is required to distinguish non-bolometric from bolometric response, especially for conditions of high light fluence.
Interpretations of IR and millimeter wave measurements in superconductors are generally carried out in terms of the Mattis-Bardeen calculations, which apply either to the anomalous skin effect regime or to the dirty limit regime. In high temperature superconductors neither limit applies. Reflectance measurements on high quality, epitaxially-grown, laser-deposited films indicate that these samples are in the clean-limit, normal skin effect regime. Features that have been previously identified as the gap appear in both the superconducting and the normal-state spectra, although obscured by the free carrier absorption above Tc. Below Tc these features become more evident as the free carrier contribution condenses into a delta function at zero frequency.
We report studies of a thin high-Ta film operating as a fast bolometric detector of infrared radiation. The film has a response of several mV when exposed to a 1 W, 1 ns duration broadband infrared pulse. The decay after the pulse was about 4 ns. The temperature dependence of the response accurately tracked dR/dT. A thermal model, in which the film's temperature varies relative to the substrate, provides a good description of the response. We find no evidence for other (non-bolometric) response mechanisms for temperatures near or well below T.