10-GHz Self-Referenced Optical Frequency Comb

Center for Applied Photonics, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstrasse 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 10/2009; 326(5953):681. DOI: 10.1126/science.1179112
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The femtosecond laser-based frequency comb has played a key role in high-precision optical frequency metrology for a decade. Although often referred to as a precise optical frequency ruler, its tick marks are in fact too densely spaced for direct observation and individual use, limiting important applications in spectroscopy, astronomy, and ultrafast electromagnetic waveform control. We report on a femtosecond laser frequency comb with a 10-gigahertz repetition rate that creates a stabilized output spectrum with coverage from 470 to 1130 nanometers. The individual modes can be directly resolved with a grating spectrometer and are visible by eye.

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Available from: Dirk C. Heinecke, Aug 12, 2015
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    • "In principle, high repetition rate is readily obtained by reducing the length of the laser resonator. This approach has been demonstrated for solid-state [1] and fiber lasers [5], but is inherently limited by technical constraints on miniaturization and the nonlinear dynamics of the mode-locking mechanism. These difficulties become more prominent as the repetition rate is pushed higher. "
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    ABSTRACT: The high power per mode of a recently developed 10 GHz femtosecond Ti:sapphire frequency comb permits nonlinear Doppler-free saturation spectroscopy in 87Rb with a single mode of the comb. We use this access to the natural linewidth of the rubidium D2 line to effectively stabilize the optical frequencies of the comb with an instability of 7×10−12 in 1 s of averaging. The repetition rate is stabilized to a microwave reference leading to a stabilized and atomically referenced comb. The frequency stability of the 10 GHz comb is characterized using optical heterodyne with an independent self-referenced 1 GHz comb. In addition, we present alternative stabilization approaches for high repetition rate frequency combs and evaluate their expected stabilities.
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