Phase-coherent synthesis of optical frequencies and waveforms

J. Ye, S.T. Cundiff, S. Foreman, T.M. Fortier, J.L. Hall, K.W. Holman, D.J. Jones, J.D. Jost, H.C. Kapteyn, K.A.H. Leeuwen, van, L.S. Ma, M.M. Murnane, J.L. Peng, R.K. Shelton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Precision phase control of an ultrawide-bandwidth optical-frequency comb has produced remarkable and unexpected progress in both areas of optical-frequency metrology and ultrafast optics. A frequency comb (with 100 MHz spacing) spanning an entire optical octave (>300 THz) has been produced, corresponding to millions of marks on a frequency "ruler" that are stable at the Hz level. The precision comb has been used to establish a simple optical clock based on an optical transition of iodine molecules, providing an rf clock signal with a frequency stability comparable to that of an optical standard, and which is superior to almost all conventional rf sources. To realize a high-power cw optical frequency synthesizer, a separate, widely tunable single-frequency cw laser has been employed to randomly access the stabilized optical comb and lock to any desired comb component. Carrier-envelope phase stabilization of few-cycle optical pulses has recently been realized. This advance in femtosecond technology is important for both extreme non-linear optics and optical-frequency metrology. With two independent femtosecond lasers, we have not only synchronized their relative pulse timing at the femtosecond level, but have also phase-locked their carrier frequencies, thus establishing phase coherence between the two lasers. By coherently stitching the optical bandwidth together, a "synthesized" pulse has been generated with its 2nd-order autocorrelation signal displaying a shorter width than those of the two "parent" lasers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S27-S34
    JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
    Issue numberSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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