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Ideguchi, Takuro; Poisson, Antonin; Guelachvili, Guy; Picque, Nathalie and Hänsch, Theodor W. (2014): Adaptive real-time dual-comb spectroscopy. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 3375 [PDF, 1MB]

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The spectrum of a laser frequency comb consists of several hundred thousand equally spaced lines over a broad spectral bandwidth. Such frequency combs have revolutionized optical frequency metrology and they now hold much promise for significant advances in a growing number of applications including molecular spectroscopy. Despite an intriguing potential for the measurement of molecular spectra spanning tens of nanometres within tens of microseconds at Doppler-limited resolution, the development of dual-comb spectroscopy is hindered by the demanding stability requirements of the laser combs. Here we overcome this difficulty and experimentally demonstrate a concept of real-time dual-comb spectroscopy, which compensates for laser instabilities by electronic signal processing. It only uses free-running mode-locked lasers without any phase-lock electronics. We record spectra spanning the full bandwidth of near-infrared fibre lasers with Doppler-limited line profiles highly suitable for measurements of concentrations or line intensities. Our new technique of adaptive dual-comb spectroscopy offers a powerful transdisciplinary instrument for analytical sciences.

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