Abstract

We present the first characterization of the noise properties and modulation response of the carrier-envelope offset (CEO) frequency in a semiconductor modelocked laser. The CEO beat of an optically-pumped vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) at 1030 nm was characterized without standard f-to-2f interferometry. Instead, we used an appropriate combination of signals obtained from the modelocked oscillator and an auxiliary continuous-wave laser to extract information about the CEO signal. The estimated linewidth of the free-running CEO beat is approximately 1.5 MHz at 1-s observation time, and the feedback bandwidth to enable a tight CEO phase lock to be achieved in a future stabilization loop is in the order of 300 kHz. We also characterized the amplitude and phase of the pump current to CEO-frequency transfer function, which showed a 3-dB bandwidth of 300kHz for the CEO frequency modulation. This fulfills the estimated required bandwidth and indicates that the first self-referenced phase-stabilization of a modelocked semiconductor laser should be feasible in the near future.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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