10-GHz Self-Referenced Optical Frequency Comb

Center for Applied Photonics, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstrasse 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 10/2009; 326(5953):681. DOI: 10.1126/science.1179112
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Solid-state lasers, fundamentally modelocked using SESAMs, typically exhibit low timing jitter, high pulse-to-pulse phase coherence, and high individual optical spectral mode signal to noise ratio (SNR)1112 These features are particularly important, but very difficult to achieve at high pulse repetition rates (10 GHz or higher), which are highly desired in applications including ultrahigh speed transmission systems up to 30 Tbits/second13, optical clocking, multi-wavelength sources14, continuum generation and frequency metrology15, to name a few. Coherent optical communications is a rapidly growing field due to the continued exponential growth of consumed energy in non-optical communications servers and networks, as well as the constantly growing need for communication bandwidth. "
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    ABSTRACT: High pulse repetition rate (≥ 10 GHz) diode-pumped solid-state lasers, modelocked using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs) are emerging as an enabling technology for high data rate coherent communication systems owing to their low noise and pulse-to-pulse optical phase-coherence. Quantum dot (QD) based SESAMs offer potential advantages to such laser systems in terms of reduced saturation fluence, broader bandwidth, and wavelength flexibility. Here, we describe the development of an epitaxial process for the realization of high optical quality 1.55 µm In(Ga)As QDs on GaAs substrates, their incorporation into a SESAM, and the realization of the first 10 GHz repetition rate QD-SESAM modelocked laser at 1.55 µm, exhibiting ∼2 ps pulse width from an Er-doped glass oscillator (ERGO). With a high areal dot density and strong light emission, this QD structure is a very promising candidate for many other applications, such as laser diodes, optical amplifiers, non-linear and photonic crystal based devices.
    Scientific Reports 06/2012; 2:477. DOI:10.1038/srep00477 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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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: We have used injection locking to multiply the repetition rate of a passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber laser from 40 MHz to 1 GHz while preserving optical phase coherence between the master laser and the slave output. The system is implemented almost completely in fiber and incorporates gain and passive saturable absorption. The slave repetition rate is set to a rational harmonic of the master repetition rate, inducing pulse formation at the least common multiple of the master and slave repetition rates.
    Optics Express 01/2012; 20(3):2717-24. DOI:10.1364/OE.20.002717 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    • "With a half-wave plate the polarisation is adjusted for maximum broadening in the microstructured fiber. The supercontinuum spectrum is shown in Fig. 2. In early experiments [22] the fiber-coupling stability limited the operation of the system to intervals of about 10 minutes. The large average power in combination with tight focussing into the small fiber core leads to heating of the fiber and thermal instabilities in coupling efficiency and output polarization. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper shows the experimental details of the stabilization scheme that allows full control of the repetition rate and the carrier-envelope offset frequency of a 10 GHz frequency comb based on a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser. Octave-spanning spectra are produced in nonlinear microstructured optical fiber, in spite of the reduced peak power associated with the 10 GHz repetition rate. Improved stability of the broadened spectrum is obtained by temperature-stabilization of the nonlinear optical fiber. The carrier-envelope offset frequency and the repetition rate are simultaneously frequency stabilized, and their short- and long-term stabilities are characterized. We also measure the transfer of amplitude noise of the pump source to phase noise on the offset frequency and verify an increased sensitivity of the offset frequency to pump power modulation compared to systems with lower repetition rate. Finally, we discuss merits of this 10 GHz system for the generation of low-phase-noise microwaves from the photodetected pulse train.
    Optics Express 09/2011; 19(19):18440-51. DOI:10.1364/OE.19.018440 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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