Abstract

We experimentally investigate the spectral coherence of microresonator optical frequency combs. Specifically, we use a spectral interference method, typically used in the context of supercontinuum generation, to explore the variation of the magnitude of the complex degree of first-order coherence across the full comb bandwidth. We measure the coherence of two different frequency combs and observe wholly different coherence characteristics. In particular, we find that the observed dynamical regimes are similar to the stable and unstable modulation instability regimes reported in previous theoretical studies. Results from numerical simulations are found to be in good agreement with experimental observations. In addition to demonstrating a new technique to assess comb stability, our results provide strong experimental support for previous theoretical analyses.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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