OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Henry M. Van Driel
  • Vol. 24, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2007
  • pp: 1756–1770

Low-noise fiber-laser frequency combs (Invited)

Nathan R. Newbury and William C. Swann  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 24, Issue 8, pp. 1756-1770 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (890 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We discuss experimental and theoretical aspects of a low-noise fiber-laser frequency comb, including the experimental configuration and the major contributions to the frequency noise and linewidth of the individual comb modes. Intracavity noise sources acting on the mode-locked laser determine the free-running comb linewidth and include environmental changes, pump noise, and amplified spontaneous emission (ASE). Extracavity noise sources acting outside of the laser typically determine the signal-to-noise ratio on the comb lines and include environmental effects, shot noise, and noise generated during supercontinuum generation. Feedback strongly suppresses these intracavity noise contributions, yielding a system that operates with comb linewidths and timing jitter below the quantum limit set by the intracavity ASE. Finally, we discuss correlations in the residual noise across a phase-locked comb.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(140.3510) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, fiber

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Fiber Lasers

Original Manuscript: November 2, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: December 19, 2006
Published: July 19, 2007

Nathan R. Newbury and William C. Swann, "Low-noise fiber-laser frequency combs (Invited)," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 24, 1756-1770 (2007)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. B. R. Washburn, S. A. Diddams, N. R. Newbury, J. W. Nicholson, M. F. Yan, and C. G. Jørgensen, "Phase-locked erbium-fiber-laser-based frequency comb in the near infrared," Opt. Lett. 29, 250-252 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. T. R. Schibli, K. Minoshima, F.-L. Hong, H. Inaba, A. Onae, H. Matsumoto, I. Hartl, and M. E. Fermann, "Frequency metrology with a turnkey all-fiber system," Opt. Lett. 29, 2467-2469 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. H. Hundertmark, D. Wandt, N. Haverkamp, and H. R. Telle, "Phase-locked carrier-envelope-offset frequency at 1560nm," Opt. Express 12, 770-775 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. F. Adler, K. Moutzouris, A. Leitenstorfer, H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, G. Grosche, and F. Tauser, "Phase-locked two-branch erbium-doped fiber laser system for long-term precision measurements of optical frequencies," Opt. Express 12, 5872-5880 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. B. R. Washburn, R. Fox, N. R. Newbury, J. W. Nicholson, K. Feder, P. S. Westbrook, and C. G. Jørgensen, "Fiber-laser-based frequency comb with a tunable repetition rate," Opt. Express 12, 4999-5004 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. P. Kubina, P. Adel, F. Adler, G. Grosche, T. W. Hänsch, R. Holzwarth, A. Leitenstorfer, B. Lipphardt, and H. Schnatz, "Long-term comparison of two fiber based frequency comb systems," Opt. Express 13, 904-909 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. I. Hartl, G. Imshev, M. E. Fermann, C. Langrock, and M. M. Fejer, "Integrated self-referenced frequency-comb laser based on a combination of fiber and waveguide technology," Opt. Express 13, 6490-6496 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. N. R. Newbury and B. R. Washburn, "Theory of the frequency comb output from a femtosecond fiber laser," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 41, 1388-1402 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. B. R. Washburn, W. C. Swann, and N. R. Newbury, "Response dynamics of the frequency comb output from a femtosecond fiber laser," Opt. Express 13, 10622-10633 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. E. Benkler, H. R. Telle, A. Zach, and F. Tauser, "Circumvention of noise contributions in fiber laser based frequency combs," Opt. Express 13, 5662-5668 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. J. McFerran, W. C. Swann, B. R. Washburn, and N. R. Newbury, "Elimination of pump-induced frequency jitter on fiber-laser frequency combs," Opt. Lett. 31, 1997-1999 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. J. J. McFerran, W. C. Swann, B. R. Washburn, and N. R. Newbury, "Suppression of pump-induced frequency noise in fiber-laser frequency combs leading to sub-radian fceo phase excursion," Appl. Phys. B 86, 219-227 (2007). [CrossRef]
  13. H. Inaba, Y. Daimon, F. L. Hong, A. Onae, K. Minoshima, T. R. Schibli, H. Matsumoto, M. Hirano, T. Okuno, M. Onishi, and M. Nakazawa, "Long-term measurement of optical frequencies using a simple, robust and low-noise fiber based frequency comb," Opt. Express 14, 5223-5231 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. W. C. Swann, J. J. McFerran, I. Coddington, N. R. Newbury, I. Hartl, M. E. Fermann, P. S. Westbrook, J. W. Nicholson, K. S. Feder, C. Langrock, and M. M. Fejer, "Fiber-laser frequency combs with sub-hertz relative linewidths," Opt. Lett. 31, 3046-3048 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. H. Schnatz, B. Lipphardt, and G. Grosche, "Frequency metrology using fiber-based fs-frequency combs," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO) (Optical Society of America, 2006), Paper CTuHl.
  16. T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, "Optical Frequency Metrology," Nature 416, 233-237 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz,R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, "Carrier-envelope phase control of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and direct optical frequency synthesis," Science 288, 635-639 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. S. A. Diddams, Th. Udem, J. C. Bergquist, E. A. Curtis, R. E. Drullinger, L. Hollberg, W. M. Itano, W. D. Lee, C. W. Oates, K. R. Vogel, and D. J. Wineland, "An optical clock based on a single trapped Hg+199 ion," Science 293, 825-828 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. L.-S. Ma, Z. Bi, A. Bartels, L. Robersson, M. Zucco, R. S. Windeler, G. Wilpers, C. Oates, L. Hollberg, and S. A. Diddams, "Optical frequency synthesis and comparison with uncertainty at the 10−19 level," Science 303, 1843-1845 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. K. Minoshima and H. Matsumoto, "High-accuracy measurement of 240-m distance in an optical tunnel by use of a compact femtosecond laser," Appl. Opt. 39, 5512-5517 (2000). [CrossRef]
  21. R. W. Fox, B. R. Washburn, N. R. Newbury, and L. Hollberg, "Wavelength references for interferometry in air," Appl. Opt. 44, 7793-7801 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. W. C. Swann and N. R. Newbury, "Frequency-resolved coherent lidar using a femtosecond fiber laser," Opt. Lett. 31, 826-828 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. K. W. Holman, D. D. Hudson, J. Ye, and D. J. Jones, "Remote transfer of a high-stability and ultralow-jitter timing signal," Opt. Lett. 30, 1225-1227 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. C. Daussy, O. Lopez, A. Amy-Klein, A. Goncharov, M. Guinet, C. Chardonnet, F. Narbonneau, M. Lours, D. Chambon, S. Bize, A. Clairon, G. Santarelli, M. E. Tobar, and A. N. Luiten, "Long-distance frequency dissemination with a resolution of 10(−17)," Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 203904 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. J. J. McFerran, E. N. Ivanov, A. Bartels, G. Wilpers, C. W. Oates, S. A. Diddams, and L. Hollberg, "Low-noise synthesis of microwave signals from an optical source," Electron. Lett. 41, 650-651 (2005). [CrossRef]
  26. Menlo Systems GmBH, www.menlosystems.com.
  27. Toptica photonics, www.toptica.com.
  28. L. E. Nelson, D. J. Jones, K. Tamura, H. A. Haus, and E. P. Ippen, "Ultrashort-pulse fiber ring lasers," Appl. Phys. B 65, 277-294 (1997). [CrossRef]
  29. K. Tamura, E. P. Ippen, H. A. Haus, and L. E. Nelson, "77-fs pulse generation from a stretched-pulse mode-locked all-fiber ring laser," Opt. Lett. 18, 1080-1083 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. J. Rauschenberger, T. M. Fortier, D. J. Jones, J. Ye, and S. T. Cundiff, "Control of the frequency comb from a mode-locked erbium-doped fiber laser," Opt. Express 10, 1404-1410 (2002). [PubMed]
  31. F. Tauser, A. Leitenstorfer, and W. Zinth, "Amplified femtosecond pulses from an Er:fiber system: nonlinear pulse shortening and self-referencing detection of the carrier-envelope phase evolution," Opt. Express 11, 594-600 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  32. F.-L. Hong, K. Minoshima, A. Onae, H. Inaba, H. Takada, A. Hirai, H. Matsumoto, T. Sugiura, and M. Yoshida, "Broad-spectrum frequency comb generation and carrier-envelope offset frequency measurement by second harmonic generation of a mode-locked fiber laser," Opt. Lett. 28, 1-3 (2003). [CrossRef]
  33. J. Ye, J. L. Hall, and S. A. Diddams, "Precision phase control of an ultrawide-bandwidth femtosecond laser: a network of ultrastable frequency marks across the visible spectrum," Opt. Lett. 25, 1675-1677 (2000). [CrossRef]
  34. S. R. Bramwell, D. M. Kane, and A. I. Ferguson, "Frequency offset locking of a synchronously pumped mode-locked dye laser," Opt. Commun. 56, 112-116 (1985). [CrossRef]
  35. A. Bartels, C. W. Oates, L. Hollberg, and S. A. Diddams, "Stabilization of femtosecond laser frequency combs with subhertz residual linewidths," Opt. Lett. 29, 1081-1083 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. H. A. Haus and A. Mecozzi, "Noise of mode-locked lasers," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 29, 983-996 (1993). [CrossRef]
  37. R. Paschotta, "Noise of mode-locked lasers (Part II): timing jitter and other fluctuations," Appl. Phys. B 79, 163-173 (2004). [CrossRef]
  38. R. Paschotta, A. Schlatter, S. C. Zeller, H. R. Telle, and U. Keller, "Optical phase noise and carrier-envelope offset noise of mode-locked lasers," Appl. Phys. B 82, 265-273 (2006). [CrossRef]
  39. K. L. Corwin, N. R. Newbury, J. M. Dudley, S. Coen,S. A. Diddams, K. Weber, and R. S. Windeler, "Fundamental noise limitations to supercontinuum generation in microstructure fiber," Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 113904 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  40. K. L. Corwin, N. R. Newbury, J. M. Dudley, S. Coen, S. A. Diddams, B. R. Washburn, K. Weber, and R. S. Windeler, "Fundamental amplitude noise limitations to supercontinuum spectra generated in microstructure fiber," Appl. Phys. B 77, 269-277 (2003). [CrossRef]
  41. N. R. Newbury, B. R. Washburn, K. L. Corwin, and R. S. Windeler, "Noise amplification during supercontinuum generation in microstructure fiber," Opt. Lett. 28, 944-946 (2002). [CrossRef]
  42. B. R. Washburn and N. R. Newbury, "Phase, timing, and amplitude noise on supercontinua generated in microstructure fiber," Opt. Express 12, 2166-2175 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  43. J. W. Nicholson, M. F. Yan, P. Wisk, J. Fleming, F. DiMarcello, E. Monberg, A. Yablon, C. G. Jørgensen, and T. Veng, "All-fiber, octave-spanning supercontinuum," Opt. Lett. 28, 643-645 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  44. J. W. Nicholson, P. S. Westbrook, K. S. Feder, and A. D. Yablon, "Supercontinuum generation in UV irradiated fibers," Opt. Lett. 29, 2363-2365 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. H. R. Telle, G. Steinmeyer, A. E. Dunlop, J. Stenger, D. H. Sutter, and U. Keller, "Carrier-envelope offset phase control: a novel concept for absolute optical frequency and ultrashort pulse generation," Appl. Phys. B 69, 327-332 (1999). [CrossRef]
  46. I. Hartl, T. R. Schibili, G. Imbeshev, G. C. Cho, M. N. Fermann, K. Minoshima, A. Onae, F.-L. Hong, H. Matsumoto, J. W. Nicholson, and M. F. Yan, "Carrier envelope phase locking of an in-line, low-noise Er fiber system," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (Optical Society of America, 2004), p. 59.
  47. N. Haverkamp, H. Hundertmark, C. Fallnich, and H. R. Telle, "Frequency stabilization of mode-locked erbium fiber lasers using pump power control," Appl. Phys. B 78, 321-324 (2004). [CrossRef]
  48. H. R. Telle, B. Lipphardt, and J. Stenger, "Kerr-lens, mode-locked lasers as transfer oscillators for optical frequency measurements," Appl. Phys. B 74, 1-6 (2002). [CrossRef]
  49. D. D. Hudson, K. W. Holman, R. J. Jones, S. T. Cundiff, J. Ye, and D. J. Jones, "Mode-locked fiber laser frequency-controlled with an intracavity electro-optic modulator," Opt. Lett. 30, 2948-2950 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  50. D.B.Sullivan, D.W.Allan, D.A.Howe, and F.L.Walls, eds. "Characterization of clocks and oscillators," NIST Technical Note 1337 (NIST, 1990).
  51. H. A. Haus and E. P. Ippen, "Group velocity of solitons," Opt. Lett. 26, 1654-1656 (2001). [CrossRef]
  52. C. J. McKinstrie, J. Santhanam, and G. P. Agrawal, "Grodon-Haus timing jitter in dispersion-managed systems with lumped amplification: analytical approach," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 640-649 (2002). [CrossRef]
  53. A. Schlatter, B. Rudin, S. C. Zeller, R. Paschotta, G. J. Spuhler, L. Krainer, N. Haverkamp, H. R. Telle, and U. Keller, "Nearly quantum-noise-limited timing jitter from miniature Er:Yb:glass lasers," Opt. Lett. 30, 1536-1538 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  54. E. Desurvire, Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifiers (Wiley, 1994).
  55. H. A. Haus, "Quantum noise in a solitonlike repeater system," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 8, 1122-1126 (1991). [CrossRef]
  56. P. T. Ho, "Phase and amplitude fluctuations in a mode-locked laser," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 21, 1806-1813 (1985). [CrossRef]
  57. M. Nakazawa, K. Tamura, H. Kubota, and E. Yoshida, "Coherence degradation in the process of supercontinuum generation in an optical fiber," Opt. Fiber Technol. 4, 215-223 (1998). [CrossRef]
  58. H. Kubota, K. R. Tamura, and M. Nakazawa, "Analyses of coherence-maintained ultrashort optical pulse trains and supercontinuum generation in the presence of soliton-amplified spontaneous-emission interaction," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 2223-2232 (1999). [CrossRef]
  59. P. S. Westbrook, J. W. Nicholson, K. Feder, and A. D. Yablon, "UV processing of highly nonlinear fibers for enhanced supercontinuum generation," in Optical Fiber Conference (Optical Society of America, 2004).
  60. P. S. Westbrook, J. W. Nicholson, K. S. Feder, Y. Li, and T. Brown, "Supercontinuum generation in a fiber grating," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 4600-4602 (2004). [CrossRef]
  61. K. Kim, S. A. Diddams, P. S. Westbrook, J. W. Nicholson, and K. S. Feder, "Improved stabilization of a 1.3μm femtosecond optical frequency comb by use of a spectrally tailored continuum from a nonlinear fiber grating," Opt. Lett. 31, 277-279 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  62. S. Namiki, E. P. Ippen, H. A. Haus, and K. Tamura, "Relaxation oscillation behavior in polarization additive pulse mode-locked fiber ring lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 3969-3971 (1996). [CrossRef]
  63. F. L. Walls and A. DeMarchi, "RF spectrum of a signal after frequency multiplication; measurement and comparison with a simple calculation," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. IM-24, 210-217 (1975). [CrossRef]
  64. D. S. Elliott, R. Roy, and S. J. Smith, "Extracavity laser band-shape and bandwidth modification," Phys. Rev. A 26, 12-18 (1982). [CrossRef]
  65. L. B. Mercer, "1/f frequency noise effects on self-heterodyne linewidth measurements," J. Lightwave Technol. 9, 485-493 (1991). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited