Laser power stabilization via radiation pressure

This experiment is about a new radiation pressure based scheme to sense and stabilize the power fluctuations of a laser beam.

The novel aspect of the scheme is that the power fluctuations are sensed via the radiation pressure driven motion they induce on a micro-oscillator mirror (like the one displayed in the picture).

The mirror position and its fluctuations are determined by means of a Michelson interferometer, which is the in-loop sensor for this scheme. This technique exploits a similar concept to a nondemolition measurement, since the power fluctuations are inferred by measuring the fluctuations in the phase observable of the beam in the interferometer.

The micro-oscillator mirror used in this experiment is in the center of the disc held in the hand in this picture.
Image of the experimental setup.

This process results in higher in-loop signals for power fluctuations than what would be achieved by a direct detection, e.g. via the traditional scheme where a fraction of the laser power is picked off and sensed directly by a photodetector. Another remarkable advantage of this scheme is that it enables the generation of a strong bright squeezed out-of-loop beam.

This technique is a promising step towards an improved stabilization scheme to be used in the future generation of gravitational wave detectors and also in optomechanics experiments.

This project is a collaboration between the AEI and the group of Thomas Corbitt in the Louisiana State University.


Nery, M. T.; Danilishin, S.; Venneberg, J.; Willke, B.: Fundamental limits of laser power stabilization via a radiation pressure transfer scheme. Optics Letters 45 (14), pp. 3969 - 3972 (2020)
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