Complete characterization of quantum-limited timing jitter in passively mode-locked fiber lasers.
ABSTRACT We characterize the timing jitter of passively mode-locked, femtosecond, erbium fiber lasers with unprecedented resolution, enabling the observation of quantum-origin timing jitter up to the Nyquist frequency. For a pair of nearly identical 79.4MHz dispersion-managed lasers with an output pulse energy of 450pJ, the high-frequency jitter was found to be 2.6fs [10kHz, 39.7MHz]. The results agree well with theoretical noise models over more than three decades, extending to the Nyquist frequency. It is also found that unexpected noise may occur if care is not taken in optimizing the mode-locked state.
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ABSTRACT: The cross correlation between a pair of femtosecond lasers with slightly different repetition rates enables high precision, high update rate time-of-flight (TOF) distance measurements against multiple targets. Here, we investigate the obtainable ranging precision set by the timing jitter from femtosecond lasers. An analytical model governing dual femtosecond laser TOF distance measurement in the presence of pulse train timing jitter is built at first. A numerical study is conducted by involving typical timing jitter sources in femtosecond lasers in the following. Finally, the analytical and numerical models are verified by a TOF ranging experiment using a pair of free running femtosecond Er-fiber lasers. The timing jitter of the lasers is also characterized by an attosecond resolution balanced optical cross correlation method. The comparison between experiment and numerical model shows that the quantum-limited timing jitter of femtosecond lasers sets a fundamental limit on the performance of dual femtosecond laser TOF distance measurements.Optics Express 05/2015; 23(11):14057-14069. DOI:10.1364/OE.23.014057 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The generation of sub-optical-cycle, carrier–envelope phase-stable light pulses is one of the frontiers of ultrafast optics. The two key ingredients for sub-cycle pulse generation are bandwidths substantially exceeding one octave and accurate control of the spectral phase. These requirements are very challenging to satisfy with a single laser beam, and thus intense research activity is currently devoted to the coherent synthesis of pulses generated by separate sources. In this review we discuss the conceptual schemes and experimental tools that can be employed for the generation, amplification, control, and combination of separate light pulses. The main techniques for the spectrotemporal characterization of the synthesized fields are also described. We discuss recent implementations of coherent waveform synthesis: from the first demonstration of a single-cycle optical pulse by the addition of two pulse trains derived from a fiber laser, to the coherent combination of the outputs from optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifiers.Laser & Photonics Review 12/2014; 9(2). DOI:10.1002/lpor.201400181 · 9.31 Impact Factor