C. Liu, K. Nickerson, D. W. Booth, J. Frechem, H. Tai, H. Miladi, K. Moore, and J. P. Shaffer, “Stable, narrow-linewidth laser system with a broad frequency tunability and a fast switching time,” Opt. Lett. 49, 399-402 (2024)
For a Rydberg atom-based sensor to change its sensing frequency, the wavelength of the Rydberg state excitation laser must be altered. The wavelength shifts required can be on the order of 10 nm. A fast-tunable narrow-linewidth laser with broadband tuning capability is required. Here, we present a demonstration of a laser system that can rapidly switch a coupling laser as much as 8 nm in less than 50 μs. The laser system comprises a frequency-stabilized continuous wave laser and an electro-optic frequency comb. A filter enables selection of individual comb lines. A high-speed electro-optic modulator is used to tune the selected comb line to a specific frequency, i.e., an atomic transition. Through Rydberg atom-based sensing experiments, we demonstrate frequency hopping between two Rydberg states and a fast switching time of 400 μs, which we show can be reduced to ∼50 μs with a ping-pong scheme. If updating the RF frequency is not required during frequency hopping, a 200 ns switching time can be achieved. These results showcase the potential of the laser system for advanced Rydberg atom-based radio frequency sensing applications, like communications and radar.