Abstract

The supercontinuum generated exclusively in the normal dispersion regime of a nonlinear fiber is widely believed to possess low optical noise and high spectral coherence. The recent development of flattened all-normal dispersion fibers has been motivated by this belief to construct a general-purpose broadband coherent optical source. Somewhat surprisingly, we identify a large short-term polarization noise in this type of supercontinuum generation that has been masked by the total-intensity measurement in the past, but can be easily detected by filtering the supercontinuum with a linear polarizer. Fortunately, this hidden intrinsic noise and the accompanied spectral decoherence can be effectively suppressed by using a polarization-maintaining all-normal dispersion fiber. A polarization-maintaining coherent supercontinuum laser is thus built with a broad bandwidth (780–1300 nm) and high spectral power (∼1 mW/nm).

© 2015 IEEE

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