21st of September 2017 (Paris) – PhD defense of Charles PHILIPPE

Charles PHILIPPE will defense his PhD on the 21st of September, 2017 at IAP (Paris) on the topic “Source laser à 1.5 µm stabilisée en fréquence sur l’iode moléculaire”. This work took place at SYRTE laboratory under the supervision of Ouali ACEF and Peter WOLF.



This thesis reports on the development of a frequency stabilization of a 1.54 µm laser diode on iodine hyperfine line at 514 nm, after a frequency tripling process.

An important part of this work is dedicated to the development of the frequency tripling process of a 1.54 µm laser diode, using two periodically polled wave guided Lithium Niobate nonlinear crystals.  A nonlinear conversion efficiency P3w/Pw > 36 % is obtained. This result is the best efficiency ever demonstrated for a CW frequency tripling process. 300 mW of harmonic power is generated at 514 nm from a fundamental optical power of 800 mW at 1.54 µm. The optical setup is fully fibered. The total power consumption needed to fulfill this frequency tripling process is 20 W only. According a specific operation mode, this laser setup emits simultaneously three frequency-stabilized and intense radiations at 1.54 µm, 771 nm and 514 nm.

Following this development, a very compact laser spectroscopy setup is buildup, based on a short sealed quartz cell, which contains the molecular iodine vapor. An optical power lower than 10 mW in the green is sufficient to fulfill the iodine vapor interrogation, and to detect the hyperfine saturation transitions, whose have a high factor around 514 nm (Q > 2×109).

A frequency stability at the level of 4.5 x 10-14 t-1/2 with a minimum value of 6 x 10-15 from 50 s to 100 s is demonstrated in this study. This frequency stability is the best result ever conferred to a laser diode at 1.54 µm, using in simple way a Doppler-free iodine spectroscopy technique.

This work has allowed to identify the major key components, in order to develop in near future, a fully fibered and compact stabilized laser prototype occupying a total optical volume < 10 liters.

This development could answer to numerous needs of space mission’s projects requiring ultra-stable frequency optical link, inter-satellite or ground to space, for the space geodesy (GRICE), the earth gravitational field measurement (GRACE-FO, NGGM), the gravitational waves detection (LISA) , etc …


Keywords: Metrology, frequency stabilization, ultra-stable lasers, Iodine optical clock, nonlinear optic, tripling frequency process, Telecom Laser, 1.5 µm, 514 nm, space.