Abstract

We have observed optical free induction decay on the  3H6(1)3H4(1) transition of Tm3+ ions in LaF3, using an external-cavity diode laser. The diode-laser frequency was switched by the application of a current step, and the resulting transient was detected by heterodyne beating with the laser at its new frequency. This provides a simple new way to measure coherent transients. The beat note shows a frequency chirp that gives a real-time measure of the diode-laser frequency. This result is attributed to changes in the laser lattice temperature on the microsecond time scale.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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