Abstract

We have used the comb of optical frequencies emitted by a mode-locked laser as a ruler to measure differences of as much as 20 THz between laser frequencies. This is to our knowledge the largest gap measured with a frequency comb, with high potential for further improvements. To check the accuracy of this approach we show that the modes are distributed uniformly in frequency space within the experimental limit of 3.0 parts in 1017. By comparison with an optical frequency comb generator we have verified that the mode separation equals the pulse repetition rate within the experimental limit of 6.0 parts in 1016.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  2. Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  3. H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  5. D. McIntyre and T. W. Hänsch, in OSA Annual Meeting (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1988), paper THG3.
  6. H. R. Telle, D. Meschede, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Lett. 15, 532 (1990).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
    [CrossRef]
  8. N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  9. G. Sucha, M. E. Fermann, and D. J. Harter, in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series, (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., (1998), p. 188.
  10. J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
    [CrossRef]
  11. V. P. Chebotayev and V. A. Ulybin, Appl. Phys. B 50, 1 (1990).
    [CrossRef]
  12. Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  13. L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
    [CrossRef]
  14. M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).
  15. In connection with his research on OFCG’s, M. Kourogi (Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-Ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) observed this noise reduction before (private communication, 1997).

1999 (1)

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1997 (3)

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1995 (3)

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

1993 (1)

N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
[CrossRef]

1990 (2)

1978 (1)

J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Acef, O.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Barwood, G. P.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Biraben, F.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Cagnac, B.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Chebotayev, V. P.

V. P. Chebotayev and V. A. Ulybin, Appl. Phys. B 50, 1 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Clairon, A.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

de Beauvoir, B.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Eckstein, J. N.

J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Esslinger, T.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Ferguson, A. I.

J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Fermann, M. E.

G. Sucha, M. E. Fermann, and D. J. Harter, in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series, (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., (1998), p. 188.

Freegarde, T.

M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).

Gill, P.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Gross, B.

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Hänsch, T. W.

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

H. R. Telle, D. Meschede, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Lett. 15, 532 (1990).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
[CrossRef]

D. McIntyre and T. W. Hänsch, in OSA Annual Meeting (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1988), paper THG3.

Harter, D. J.

G. Sucha, M. E. Fermann, and D. J. Harter, in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series, (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., (1998), p. 188.

Helmcke, J.

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hemmerich, A.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Hilico, L.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Holzwarth, R.

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Huber, A.

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Julien, L.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Klein, H. A.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

König, W.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Kourogi, M.

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
[CrossRef]

In connection with his research on OFCG’s, M. Kourogi (Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-Ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) observed this noise reduction before (private communication, 1997).

Lipphardt, B.

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

McIntyre, D.

D. McIntyre and T. W. Hänsch, in OSA Annual Meeting (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1988), paper THG3.

Meschede, D.

Nakagawa, N.

N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Nez, F.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Ohtsu, M.

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Prevedelli, M.

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).

Reichert, J.

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Ricci, L.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Riehle, F.

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Roberts, M.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Rowley, W. R. C.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Schnatz, H.

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sucha, G.

G. Sucha, M. E. Fermann, and D. J. Harter, in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series, (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., (1998), p. 188.

Takeuchi, Y.

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Taylor, P.

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Telle, H. R.

Touahri, D.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Udem, Th.

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Ulybin, V. A.

V. P. Chebotayev and V. A. Ulybin, Appl. Phys. B 50, 1 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Vuletic, V.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Weidenmüller, M.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Weitz, M.

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Widiyatomoko, B.

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Zimmermann, C.

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Zinner, G.

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Zondy, J. J.

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. B (3)

N. Nakagawa, M. Kourogi, and M. Ohtsu, Appl. Phys. B 57, 425 (1993).
[CrossRef]

V. P. Chebotayev and V. A. Ulybin, Appl. Phys. B 50, 1 (1990).
[CrossRef]

M. Prevedelli, T. Freegarde, and T. W. Hänsch, Appl. Phys. B 60, S241 (1995).

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

M. Kourogi, B. Widiyatomoko, Y. Takeuchi, and M. Ohtsu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 2120 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (1)

L. Ricci, M. Weidenmüller, T. Esslinger, A. Hemmerich, C. Zimmermann, V. Vuletic, W. König, and T. W. Hänsch, Opt. Commun. 117, 541 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. Lett. (6)

See, for example, M. Roberts, P. Taylor, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, H. A. Klein, and W. R. C. Rowley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1876 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, A. Huber, B. Gross, J. Reichert, M. Prevedelli, M. Weitz, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2646 (1997).
[CrossRef]

H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, and G. Zinner, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 18 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. de Beauvoir, F. Nez, L. Julien, B. Cagnac, F. Biraben, D. Touahri, L. Hilico, O. Acef, A. Clairon, and J. J. Zondy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 440 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. N. Eckstein, A. I. Ferguson, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 40, 847 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Th. Udem, J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3568 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Other (3)

In connection with his research on OFCG’s, M. Kourogi (Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-Ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) observed this noise reduction before (private communication, 1997).

D. McIntyre and T. W. Hänsch, in OSA Annual Meeting (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1988), paper THG3.

G. Sucha, M. E. Fermann, and D. J. Harter, in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series, (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., (1998), p. 188.

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

An optical frequency interval divider receives two input laser frequencies, f1 and f2. The frequency of a third laser, f3, can be determined (or set with a phase-locked loop) accurately relative to the midpoint f1+f2/2 by detection of the beat frequency between the second harmonic 2f3 and the sum frequency f1+f2. The symbol is used in Figs. 2 and 3.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

The uniform distribution of the modes of a mode-locked laser is verified by comparison with an optical frequency interval divider. Inset, measured spectrum of the frequency comb together with the 822.8- and the 870.9-nm laser diodes drawn into it.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Verifying the uniform distribution of the modes of a mode-locked laser on one side of its spectrum. Inset, measured spectrum of the frequency comb together with the 845- and 855-nm laser diodes drawn into it.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Results from the Setup of Fig. 2 with Statistical Uncertainties Derived from the Dataa

Metrics