As an emerging measurement technique with the merit of easy alignment and high sensitivity, laser self-mixing interferometry (SMI) has wide applications in the detection…
As an emerging measurement technique with the merit of easy alignment and high sensitivity, laser self-mixing interferometry (SMI) has wide applications in the detection of physical quantities. Considering that the characteristics of lasers have a determining influence on sensors’ performance, the authors have established an open cavity solid-state laser (SSL) with more adjustment flexibility to act as a laser source.
The fundamental structure of a SSL has been presented with an Nd:YAG rod severing as an active material and a birefringent filter inserted in the resonator as a mode selecting element. The power stability has been tested by a power meter, while the mode pattern has been inspected with a scanning Fabry–Perot interferometer, and the linewidth has been observed through a wavelength meter. A loudspeaker driven by a function generator is located in the extracavity to introduce phase modulation for SMI signal observation.
The established Nd:YAG SSL operates in a single longitudinal mode with the power stability of 0.2 mW and the linewidth less than 10 MHz. The SMI phenomenon occurs in the SSL, and the SMI signal obtained shows a fine signal-to-noise ratio of about 30 dB.
To the authors knowledge, SMI sensors using SSLs, especially in open cavity type, have rarely been reported, and they can find significant applications in designing high performance SMI sensors and instruments.