Optical frequency combs with wide mode spacing and low timing jitter are relied upon for both time domain and frequency domain applications. It has been previously demonstrated that surrounding a low-Q semiconductor laser chip with a long external fiber cavity and inserting a high finesse Fabry–Pérot etalon into this cavity can produce a mode-locked laser with the desired high repetition rate and narrow optical mode linewidths which are of benefit to applications like photonic analog-to-digital conversion and astronomical spectrograph calibration. With this nested cavity architecture, the quality factor of the resonator is effectively determined by the product of the individual quality factors of the long fiber cavity and the short etalon cavity. Passive cavity Q and intracavity power both influence mode-locked laser mode linewidth, optical frequency stability, and the phase noise of the photodetected output. The nested cavity architecture has been demonstrated at 10-GHz mode spacing a few times with increasing etalon finesse and once with a high saturation power semiconductor gain medium to increase intracavity power. No one system has been fully characterized for long term optical frequency stability, phase noise and timing jitter, and optical mode linewidth. As a result, the trade-offs involved with advancing any one element (e.g. increasing cavity Q by adding fiber length and maintaining a broad spectral region of low dispersion for broad-bandwidth operation) have not been fully examined. In this work, three cavity elements are identified for study to influence cavity Q, effective noise spur suppression, and intracavity power, and the trade-offs of pushing those parameters to new limits are experimentally demonstrated. In the process, we also demonstrate nested cavity systems with fractional frequency instability on the order of 10-13, timing jitter as low as 20 fs, and Hz-level linewidths.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Bagnell, Kristina, "Noise, Stability, and Linewidth Performance of 10-GHz Optical Frequency Combs Generated from the Nested Cavity Architecture" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5579.