Frequency stability of the mode spectrum of broad bandwidth Fabry-Pérot interferometers

Jeff Jennings, Ryan Terrien, Connor Fredrick, Michael Grisham, Mark Notcutt, Samuel Halverson, Suvrath Mahadevan, Scott A. Diddams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


When illuminated by a white light source, the discrete resonances of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FP) provide a broad bandwidth, comb-like spectrum useful for frequency calibration. We report on the design, construction, and laboratory characterization of two planar, passively stabilized, low finesse (≈40) FPs spanning 380 nm to 930 nm and 780 nm to 1300 nm, with nominal free spectral ranges of 20 GHz and 30 GHz respectively. These instruments are intended to calibrate astronomical spectrographs in radial velocity searches for extrasolar planets. By tracking the frequency drift of three widely-separated resonances in each FP, we measure fractional frequency drift rates as low as 1 × 10−10 day−1. However, we find that the fractional drift rate varies across the three sample wavelengths, such that the drift of two given resonance modes disagrees with the ratio of their mode numbers. We explore possible causes of this behavior, as well as quantify the temperature and optical power sensitivity of the FPs. Our results demonstrate the advancement of Fabry-Pérot interferometers as robust and frequency-stable calibrators for astronomical and other broad bandwidth spectroscopy applications, but also highlight the need for chromatic characterization of these systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1193
Number of pages17
JournalOSA Continuum
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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