We present an inexpensive, low-noise (<260 μVrms, 0.1 Hz-100 kHz) design for a piezo driver suitable for frequency tuning of external-cavity diode lasers. This simple driver improves upon many commercially available drivers by incorporating circuitry to produce a “feed-forward” signal appropriate for making simultaneous adjustments to the piezo voltage and laser current, enabling dramatic improvements in a mode-hop-free laser frequency tuning range. We present the theory behind our driver’s operation, characterize its output noise, and demonstrate its use in absorption spectroscopy on the rubidium D1 line.

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See http://sites.williams.edu/ion/resources for schematics, board design files, and additional information.
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In principle, there is also a third cavity formed by the diode’s front facet and the diffraction grating. However, the finesse of this cavity is so low as to play essentially no role in mode selection.

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We have also added a 47 Ω resistor in series with the capacitor to form a low-pass RC filter with a well-defined frequency corner of 5 kHz.

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