Abstract

We propose and demonstrate a novel linear procedure for measurement of the carrier-envelope offset (CEO) phase of femtosecond oscillators. The technique is based on a Mach–Zehnder interferometer, a ring resonator, and a spectrograph. In this scheme, interference between subsequent pulses from a pulse train may frustrate the interference between identical pulses in the Mach–Zehnder, resulting in a modification of interference contrast depending on the CEO phase. We suggest spectrally and spatially resolved interferometry for robust detection of the fringe visibility. It is shown by numerical simulations and experimentally demonstrated that the visibility of such fringes uniquely depends on the CEO phase of the pulse train. Since the method relies only on linear interactions and does not require any nonlinear conversion, it allows characterizing the CEO frequency of mode-locked oscillators with virtually arbitrarily low bandwidth and power levels.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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