Saturday, October 17, 2020

Abstract-Ultra-high-resolution software-defined photonic terahertz spectroscopy


Rodolfo I. Hermans, James Seddon, Haymen Shams, Lalitha Ponnampalam, Alwyn J. Seeds, and Gabriel Aeppli

Experiment schematic: a monochromatic telecommunications wavelength laser feeds an optical frequency comb generator (OFCG) with exact tunable spacing. A programmable wavelength selective switch (WSS) selects two bands 12 peaks apart, amplified and mixed in uni-traveling-carrier photo-diode (UTC-PD). A 200 GHz beat frequency is transmitted through horn antennas and lenses through a continuous-flow liquid helium cryostat with thin polypropylene windows and LiYF4:Ho3+ sample. The received signal is down-converted using a sub-harmonic mixer and measured using a microwave spectrum analyzer.

A novel technique for high-resolution 1.5µm photonics-enabled terahertz (THz) spectroscopy using software control of the illumination spectral line shape (SLS) is presented. The technique enhances the performance of a continuous-wave THz spectrometer to reveal previously inaccessible details of closely spaced spectral peaks. We demonstrate the technique by performing spectroscopy on LiYF4:Ho3+, a material of interest for quantum science and technology, where we discriminate between inhomogeneous Gaussian and homogeneous Lorentzian contributions to absorption lines near 0.2 THz. Ultra-high-resolution (<100Hz full-width at half maximum) frequency-domain spectroscopy with quality factor Q>2×109 is achieved using an exact frequency spacing comb source in the optical communications band, with a custom uni-traveling-carrier photodiode mixer and coherent down-conversion detection. Software-defined time-domain modulation of one of the comb lines is demonstrated and used to resolve the sample SLS and to obtain a magnetic field-free readout of the electronuclear spectrum for the Ho3+ ions in LiYF4:Ho3+. In particular, homogeneous and inhomogeneous contributions to the spectrum are readily separated. The experiment reveals previously unmeasured information regarding the hyperfine structure of the first excited state in the 5I8 manifold complementing the results reported in Phys. Rev. B 94, 205132 (2016) [CrossRef .

Published by The Optical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

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