Graphene controls laser frequency combs in fiber

November 11, 2020

The development of laser frequency combs has revolutionized optical communication, photonic sensing, precision spectroscopy, and astronomical observation. Stable frequency combs could be achieved via mode locking in rare-earth doped fiber lasers, generating Kerr solitons in parametric oscillators, or opto-electrically modulating lithium niobate microresonators with strong second-order nonlinearity. For many out-of-lab applications, people desire a compact comb devices with multiple advances, such as all-in-fiber integration, low driven power but high efficiency, full stabilization, and diverse comb outputs with fast and convenient tunability.

In a recently published paper in Light: Science & Applications, scientists from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Nanjing University, Hunan University and University of Colorado, Bouder, demonstrated a graphene heterogeneous fiber micro resonator. Leveraging the electrical tunability of the graphene semiconductor incorporated in a fiber F-P microcavity, they demonstrate dissipative soliton mode-locked laser combs generation, and the capability to control comb dynamics in situ. Taking advantage of the tunneling diode effect, the researchers realize a remarkable graphene Dirac Fermion tuning from 0 to 0.45 eV. This leads to modulation depth controllable in range of 0.1% to 1.4 %. In consequence, mode locked laser frequency combs with unprecedentedly dynamic tunability are demonstrated, in both fundamental and harmonic states. Moreover, the graphene integrated microlaser device provides a powerful way to opto-electrically stabilize the comb lines after 1/2 octave supercontinuum amplification, the phase noise reaches the instrument-limited floor of -130 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, suggesting timing jitter less than 2.5×10-15 s per roundtrip. Such realization of the microcomb's dynamic control and stabilization, in a graphene heterogeneous fiber microcavity, would provide a new platform at the interface of single atomic layer optoelectronics and ultrafast photonics, lighting versatile applications for arbitrary waveform generation, fiber communication, signal processing, and spectroscopic metrology.

Light Publishing Center, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics And Physics, CAS

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