Abstract

Supercontinuum (SC) generation via femtosecond (fs) pumping in all-normal-dispersion (ANDi) fiber is predicted to offer completely coherent broadening mechanisms, potentially allowing for substantially reduced noise levels in comparison to those obtained when operating in the anomalous dispersion regime. However, previous studies of SC noise typically treat only the quantum noise, typically in the form of one-photon-per-mode noise, and do not consider other technical noise contributions, such as the stability of the pump laser, which become important when the broadening mechanism itself is coherent. In this work, we discuss the influence of the amplitude and pulse length noise of the pump laser, both added separately and combined. We show that for a typical mode-locked laser, in which the peak power and pulse duration are anticorrelated, their combined impact on the SC noise is generally smaller than in isolation. This means that the supercontinuum noise is smaller than the noise of the mode-locked pump laser itself, a fact that was recently observed in experiments but not explained. Our detailed numerical analysis shows that the coherence of ANDi SC generation is considerably reduced on the spectral edges when realistic pump laser noise levels are taken into account.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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