Abstract

To realize a genuine CW optical frequency synthesizer, a continuously tunable single-frequency CW laser has been employed to track precisely any arbitrary component of a wide bandwidth phase-stabilized optical comb. We demonstrate experimentally two fundamental aspects of optical frequency synthesis, namely, precise setting of the laser frequency at an arbitrary pre-determined value, and continuous tuning of the laser frequency with the digital precision known in radio frequency synthesis. A typical computer-automated search-and-lock procedure finishes on one-minute time scale.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, T.W. Hänsch, �??Absolute optical frequency measurement of the cesium D-1 line with a mode-locked laser,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  2. S. A. Diddams, D. J. Jones, J. Ye, S. T. Cundiff, J. L. Hall, J. K. Ranka, R. S. Windeler, R. Holzwarth, Th. Udem, and T. W. Hänsch, �??Direct link between microwave and optical frequencies with a 300 THz femtosecond laser comb,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5102 (2000).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. S. A. Diddams, Th. Udem, J. C. Bergquist, E. A. Curtis, R. E. Drullinger, L. Hollberg,W.M. Itano,W. D. Lee, C. W. Oates, K. R. Vogel, and D. J. Wineland, �??An optical clock based on a single trapped 199Hg+ ion,�?? Science 293, 826 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  4. J. Ye, L.-S. Ma and J. L. Hall, �??Molecular iodine clock,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 270801 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  5. D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, �??Carrierenvelope phase control of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and direct optical frequency synthesis,�?? Science 288, 635, (2000).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. J. Castillega, D. Livingston, A. Sanders, and D. Shiner, �??Precise measurement of the J=1 to J=2 fine structure interval in the 2P state of Helium,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 4321 (2000).
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    [CrossRef]
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  12. H. R. Telle, G. Steinmeyer, A. E. Dunlop, J. Stenger, D. H. Sutter, and U. Keller, �??Carrier-envelope offset phase control: A novel concept for absolute optical frequency control and ultrashort pulse generation,�?? Appl. Phys. B 69, 327 (1999).
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  13. R. J. Jones, J.-C. Diels, �??Stabilization of femtosecond lasers for optical frequency metrology and direct optical to radio frequency synthesis,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3288 (2001).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Phys. B (2)

A.A. Madej, L. Marmet, and J.E. Bernard, �??Rb atomic absorption line reference for single Sr+ laser cooling systems,�?? Appl. Phys. B 67, 229 (1998).
[CrossRef]

H. R. Telle, G. Steinmeyer, A. E. Dunlop, J. Stenger, D. H. Sutter, and U. Keller, �??Carrier-envelope offset phase control: A novel concept for absolute optical frequency control and ultrashort pulse generation,�?? Appl. Phys. B 69, 327 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. A (1)

L.-S. Ma, R. K. Shelton, H. C. Kapteyn, M. M. Murnane, and J. Ye, �??Sub-10-femtosecond active synchronization between two passively mode-locked Ti:Sapphire oscillators,�?? Phys. Rev. A 64, Rapid Communications, 021802(R) (2001).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (6)

A. Apolonski, A. Poppe, G. Tempea, C. Spielmann, Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, T. W. Hänsch, and F. Krausz, �??Controlling the phase evolution of few-cycle light pulses,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 740 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Castillega, D. Livingston, A. Sanders, and D. Shiner, �??Precise measurement of the J=1 to J=2 fine structure interval in the 2P state of Helium,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 4321 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, T.W. Hänsch, �??Absolute optical frequency measurement of the cesium D-1 line with a mode-locked laser,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

S. A. Diddams, D. J. Jones, J. Ye, S. T. Cundiff, J. L. Hall, J. K. Ranka, R. S. Windeler, R. Holzwarth, Th. Udem, and T. W. Hänsch, �??Direct link between microwave and optical frequencies with a 300 THz femtosecond laser comb,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5102 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Ye, L.-S. Ma and J. L. Hall, �??Molecular iodine clock,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 270801 (2001).
[CrossRef]

R. J. Jones, J.-C. Diels, �??Stabilization of femtosecond lasers for optical frequency metrology and direct optical to radio frequency synthesis,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3288 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Science (3)

D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, �??Carrierenvelope phase control of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and direct optical frequency synthesis,�?? Science 288, 635, (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. A. Diddams, Th. Udem, J. C. Bergquist, E. A. Curtis, R. E. Drullinger, L. Hollberg,W.M. Itano,W. D. Lee, C. W. Oates, K. R. Vogel, and D. J. Wineland, �??An optical clock based on a single trapped 199Hg+ ion,�?? Science 293, 826 (2001).
[CrossRef]

R. K. Shelton, L.-S. Ma, H. C. Kapteyn, M. M. Murnane, J. L. Hall, and J. Ye, �??Coherent optical pulse synthesis from two separate femtosecond lasers,�?? Science 293, 1286 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Experimental schematic and the basic operation principle of a fs-comb-guided optical frequency synthesizer. Heterodyne beat between the cw laser and the fs comb is used for frequency control.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Heterodyne beat signal between the free-running cw laser and one of the comb components. (b) Beat signal after the cw laser is stabilized by the comb. Experimental data are in dots, and the associated Lorentzian fit is in solid line.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Continuous tuning of the single frequency laser in precision steps guided by the phase stabilized optical comb. An independent optical cavity provides the frequency marks for reference.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Random search of and stabilization to the targeted comb position by a single frequency cw laser, with an initial coarse guiding given by a wavelength meter (a), followed by a controlled frequency seeking (b). The entire searching procedure within a 0.5 nm spectral region finishes on one-minute time scale. Also shown is controlled fast switching of the laser diode frequency (c).

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