Quantum dot mode-locked frequency comb with ultra-stable 25.5  GHz spacing between 20°C and 120°C

Shujie Pan, Jianou Huang, Zichuan Zhou, Zhixin Liu, Lalitha Ponnampalam, Zizhuo Liu, Mingchu Tang, Mu-Chieh Lo, Zizheng Cao, Kenichi Nishi, Keizo Takemasa, Mitsuru Sugawara, Richard Penty, Ian White, Alwyn Seeds, Huiyun Liu, Siming Chen (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Semiconductor mode-locked lasers (MLLs) are promising frequency comb sources for dense wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) data communications. Practical data communication requires a frequency-stable comb source in a temperature-varying environment and a minimum tone spacing of 25 GHz to support high-speed DWDM transmissions. To the best of our knowledge, however, to date, there have been no demonstrations of comb sources that simultaneously offer a high repetition rate and stable mode spacing over an ultrawide temperature range. Here, we report a frequency comb source based on a quantum dot (QD) MLL that generates a frequency comb with stable mode spacing over an ultrabroad temperature range of 20–120°C. The two-section passively mode-locked InAs QD MLL comb source produces an ultra-stable fundamental repetition rate of 25.5 GHz (corresponding to a 25.5 GHz spacing between adjacent tones in the frequency domain) with a variation of 0.07 GHz in the tone spacing over the tested temperature range. By keeping the saturable absorber reversely biased at −2  V, stable mode-locking over the whole temperature range can be achieved by tuning the current of the gain section only, providing easy control of the device. At an elevated temperature of 100°C, the device shows a 6 dB comb bandwidth of 4.81 nm and 31 tones with >36  dB optical signal-to-noise ratio. The corresponding relative intensity noise, averaged between 0.5 GHz and 10 GHz, is −146  dBc/Hz. Our results show the viability of the InAs QD MLLs as ultra-stable, uncooled frequency comb sources for low-cost, large-bandwidth, and low-energy-consumption optical data communications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1942
Number of pages6
JournalPhotonics Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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