ABSTRACT: Laser frequency combs emit a spectrum with hundreds of thousands of evenly spaced phase-coherent narrow lines. A comb-enabled instrument, the dual-comb interferometer, exploits interference between two frequency combs and attracts considerable interest in precision spectroscopy and sensing, distance metrology, tomography, telecommunications, etc. Mutual coherence between the two combs over the measurement time is a pre-requisite to interferometry, although it is instrumentally challenging. At best, the mutual coherence reaches about 1?s. Computer-based phase-correction techniques, which often lead to artifacts and worsened precision, must be implemented for longer averaging times. Here with feed-forward relative stabilization of the carrier-envelope offset frequencies, we experimentally realize a mutual coherence over times approaching 2000?s, more than three orders of magnitude longer than that of state-of-the-art dual-comb systems. An illustration is given with near-infrared Fourier transform molecular spectroscopy with two combs of slightly different repetition frequencies. Our technique without phase correction can be implemented with any frequency comb generator including microresonators or semiconductor lasers.
Project description:Optical frequency combs-coherent light sources that connect optical frequencies with microwave oscillations-have become the enabling tool for precision spectroscopy, optical clockwork, and attosecond physics over the past decades. Current benchmark systems are self-referenced femtosecond mode-locked lasers, but Kerr nonlinear dynamics in high-Q solid-state microresonators has recently demonstrated promising features as alternative platforms. The advance not only fosters studies of chip-scale frequency metrology but also extends the realm of optical frequency combs. We report the full stabilization of chip-scale optical frequency combs. The microcomb's two degrees of freedom, one of the comb lines and the native 18-GHz comb spacing, are simultaneously phase-locked to known optical and microwave references. Active comb spacing stabilization improves long-term stability by six orders of magnitude, reaching a record instrument-limited residual instability of [Formula: see text]. Comparing 46 nitride frequency comb lines with a fiber laser frequency comb, we demonstrate the unprecedented microcomb tooth-to-tooth relative frequency uncertainty down to 50 mHz and 2.7 × 10(-16), heralding novel solid-state applications in precision spectroscopy, coherent communications, and astronomical spectrography.
Project description:Laser frequency combs are coherent light sources that simultaneously provide pristine frequency spacings for precision metrology and the fundamental basis for ultrafast and attosecond sciences. Recently, nonlinear parametric conversion in high-Q microresonators has been suggested as an alternative platform for optical frequency combs, though almost all in 100 GHz frequencies or more. Here we report a low-phase-noise on-chip Kerr frequency comb with mode spacing compatible with high-speed silicon optoelectronics. The waveguide cross-section of the silicon nitride spiral resonator is designed to possess small and flattened group velocity dispersion, so that the Kerr frequency comb contains a record-high number of 3,600 phase-locked comb lines. We study the single-sideband phase noise as well as the long-term frequency stability and report the lowest phase noise floor achieved to date with -130 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset for the 18 GHz Kerr comb oscillator, along with feedback stabilization to achieve frequency Allan deviations of 7 × 10(-11) in 1 s. The reported system is a promising compact platform for achieving self-referenced Kerr frequency combs and also for high-capacity coherent communication architectures.
Project description:Simultaneous Kerr comb formation and second-harmonic generation with on-chip microresonators can greatly facilitate comb self-referencing for optical clocks and frequency metrology. Moreover, the presence of both second- and third-order nonlinearities results in complex cavity dynamics that is of high scientific interest but is still far from being well-understood. Here, we demonstrate that the interaction between the fundamental and the second-harmonic waves can provide an entirely new way of phase matching for four-wave mixing in optical microresonators, enabling the generation of optical frequency combs in the normal dispersion regime under conditions where comb creation is ordinarily prohibited. We derive new coupled time-domain mean-field equations and obtain simulation results showing good qualitative agreement with our experimental observations. Our findings provide a novel way of overcoming the dispersion limit for simultaneous Kerr comb formation and second-harmonic generation, which might prove to be especially important in the near-visible to visible range where several atomic transitions commonly used for the stabilization of optical clocks are located and where the large normal material dispersion is likely to dominate.
Project description:Kerr nonlinearity-based frequency combs and solitons have been generated from on-chip microresonators. The initiation of the combs requires global or local anomalous dispersion which leads to many limitations, such as material choice, film thickness, and spectral ranges where combs can be generated, as well as fabrication challenges. Using a concentric racetrack-shaped resonator, we show that such constraints can be lifted and resonator dispersion can be engineered to be anomalous over moderately broad bandwidth. We demonstrate anomalous dispersion in a 300?nm thick silicon nitride film, suitable for semiconductor manufacturing but previously thought to result in waveguides with high normal dispersion. Together with a mode-selective, tapered coupling scheme, we generate coherent mode-locked frequency combs. Our method can realize anomalous dispersion for resonators at almost any wavelength and simultaneously achieve material and process compatibility with semiconductor manufacturing.Kerr frequency comb generation from microresonators requires anomalous dispersion, imposing restrictions on materials and resonator design. Here, Kim et al. propose a concentric racetrack-resonator design where the dispersion can be engineered to be anomalous via resonant mode coupling.
Project description:Miniaturized frequency comb sources across hard-to-access spectral regions, i.e. mid- and far-infrared, have long been sought. Four-wave-mixing based Quantum Cascade Laser combs (QCL-combs) are ideal candidates, in this respect, due to the unique possibility to tailor their spectral emission by proper nanoscale design of the quantum wells. We demonstrate full-phase-stabilization of a QCL-comb against the primary frequency standard, proving independent and simultaneous control of the two comb degrees of freedom (modes spacing and frequency offset) at a metrological level. Each emitted mode exhibits a sub-Hz relative frequency stability, while a correlation analysis on the modal phases confirms the high degree of coherence in the device emission, over different power-cycles and over different days. The achievement of fully controlled, phase-stabilized QCL-comb emitters proves that this technology is mature for metrological-grade uses, as well as for an increasing number of scientific and technological applications.
Project description:Ultraviolet frequency combs enable applications ranging from precision spectroscopy to atomic clocks by addressing electronic transitions of atoms and molecules. Access to ultraviolet light via integrated nonlinear optics is usually hampered by the strong material dispersion and large waveguide attention in ultraviolet regions. Here we demonstrate a simple route to chip-scale ultraviolet comb generators, simultaneously showing a gap-free frequency span of 128 terahertz and high conversion efficiency. This process relies on adiabatic quadratic frequency translation of a near-visible supercontinuum sourced by an ultrafast fiber laser. The simultaneous cubic and quadratic nonlinear processes are implemented in single-crystalline aluminum nitride thin films, where chirp-modulated taper waveguides are patterned to ensure a broad phase matching. The heterodyne characterization suggests that both the near-visible and ultraviolet supercontinuum combs maintain high coherence. Our approach is also adaptable to other non-centrosymmetric photonic platforms for ultrafast nonlinear optics with scalable bandwidth.
Project description:Dissipative Kerr solitons in resonant frequency combs offer a promising route for ultrafast mode-locking, precision spectroscopy and time-frequency standards. The dynamics for the dissipative soliton generation, however, are intrinsically intertwined with thermal nonlinearities, limiting the soliton generation parameter map and statistical success probabilities of the solitary state. Here, via use of an auxiliary laser heating approach to suppress thermal dragging dynamics in dissipative soliton comb formation, we demonstrate stable Kerr soliton singlet formation and soliton bursts. First, we access a new soliton existence range with an inverse-sloped Kerr soliton evolution-diminishing soliton energy with increasing pump detuning. Second, we achieve deterministic transitions from Turing-like comb patterns directly into the dissipative Kerr soliton singlet pulse bypassing the chaotic states. This is achieved by avoiding subcomb overlaps at lower pump power, with near-identical singlet soliton comb generation over twenty instances. Third, with the red-detuned pump entrance route enabled, we uncover unique spontaneous soliton bursts in the direct formation of low-noise optical frequency combs from continuum background noise. The burst dynamics are due to the rapid entry and mutual attraction of the pump laser into the cavity mode, aided by the auxiliary laser and matching well with our numerical simulations. Enabled by the auxiliary-assisted frequency comb dynamics, we demonstrate an application of automatic soliton comb recovery and long-term stabilization against strong external perturbations. Our findings hold potential to expand the parameter space for ultrafast nonlinear dynamics and precision optical frequency comb stabilization.
Project description:Frequency-stabilized optical frequency combs have created many high-precision applications. Accurate timing, ultralow phase noise, and narrow linewidth are prerequisites for achieving the ultimate performance of comb-based systems. Ultrastable cavity-based comb-noise stabilization methods have enabled sub-10-15-level frequency instability. However, these methods are complex and alignment sensitive, and their use has been mostly confined to advanced metrology laboratories. Here, we have established a simple, compact, alignment-free, and potentially low-cost all-fiber photonics-based stabilization method for generating multiple ultrastable combs. The achieved performance includes 1-femtosecond timing jitter, few times 10-15-level frequency instability, and <5-hertz linewidth, rivalling those of cavity-stabilized combs. This method features flexibility in configuration: As a representative example, two combs were stabilized with 180-hertz repetition rate difference and ~1-hertz relative linewidth and could be used as an ultrastable, octave-spanning dual-comb spectroscopy source. The demonstrated method constitutes a mechanically robust and reconfigurable tool for generating multiple ultrastable combs suitable for field applications.
Project description:Dissipative Kerr solitons (DKS) in optical microresonators provide a highly miniaturised, chip-integrated frequency comb source with unprecedentedly high repetition rates and spectral bandwidth. To date, such frequency comb sources have been successfully applied in the optical telecommunication band for dual-comb spectroscopy, coherent telecommunications, counting of optical frequencies and distance measurements. Yet, the range of applications could be significantly extended by operating in the near-infrared spectral domain, which is a prerequisite for biomedical and Raman imaging applications, and hosts commonly used optical atomic transitions. Here we show the operation of photonic-chip-based soliton Kerr combs driven with 1?micron laser light. By engineering the dispersion properties of a Si3N4 microring resonator, octave-spanning soliton Kerr combs extending to 776?nm are attained, thereby covering the optical biological imaging window. Moreover, we show that soliton states can be generated in normal group-velocity dispersion regions when exploiting mode hybridisation with other mode families.
Project description:Dual-comb spectroscopy allows for high-resolution spectra to be measured over broad bandwidths, but an essential requirement for coherent integration is the availability of a phase reference. Usually, this means that the combs' phase and timing errors must be measured and either minimized by stabilization or removed by correction, limiting the technique's applicability. We demonstrate that it is possible to extract the phase and timing signals of a multiheterodyne spectrum completely computationally, without any extra measurements or optical elements. These techniques are viable even when the relative linewidth exceeds the repetition rate difference and can tremendously simplify any dual-comb system. By reconceptualizing frequency combs in terms of the temporal structure of their phase noise, not their frequency stability, we can greatly expand the scope of multiheterodyne techniques.