McNair Scholars Research Journal


The purpose of this research project is to implement and test an electronic control system for an external cavity diode laser (ECDL). ECDLs can be used in atomic and molecular spectroscopy to provide a precise frequency probe of the atomic level structure. [1] More specifically, our ECDL will allow us to excite the valence electron of rubidium atoms. Rubidium is desired because it is an alkali grouped element [2], can be contained easily in a vapor cell [3], and has an excitation wavelength close to that of standardized diode lasers. [4] In order to obtain successful results, a strong focus on the theory, design process, and testing procedures must be incorporated into this project. Current progress shows stable results in controlling internal EDCL temperature and in producing laser output feedback.