OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 2 — Jan. 19, 2009
  • pp: 558–568

Testing ultrafast mode-locking at microhertz relative optical linewidth

Michael J. Martin, Seth M. Foreman, T. R. Schibli, and Jun Ye  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 2, pp. 558-568 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (364 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We report new limits on the phase coherence of the ultrafast mode-locking process in an octave-spanning Ti:sapphire comb. We find that the mode-locking mechanism correlates optical phase across a full optical octave with less than 2.5 μHz relative linewidth. This result is at least two orders of magnitude below recent predictions for quantum-limited individual comb-mode linewidths, verifying that the mode-locking mechanism strongly correlates quantum noise across the comb spectrum.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: October 22, 2008
Revised Manuscript: December 4, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: December 12, 2008
Published: January 7, 2009

Michael J. Martin, Seth M. Foreman, T. R. Schibli, and Jun Ye, "Testing ultrafast mode-locking at microhertz relative optical linewidth," Opt. Express 17, 558-568 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, "Optical frequency metrology," Nature 416, 233-237 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. S. T. Cundiff and J. Ye, "Colloquium: Femtosecond optical frequency combs," Rev. Mod. Phys. 75, 325-342 (2003). [CrossRef]
  3. W. H. Oskay, S. A. Diddams, E. A. Donley, T. M. Fortier, T. P. Heavner, L. Hollberg, W. M. Itano, S. R. Jefferts, M. J. Delaney, K. Kim, F. Levi, T. E. Parler, and J. C. Begquist, "Single-Atom Optical Clock with High Accuracy," Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 020801 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. H. S. Margolis, G. P. Barwood, G. Huang, H. A. Klein, S. N. Lea, K. Szymaniec, and P. Gill, "Hertz-Level Measurement of the Optical Clock Frequency in a Single 88Sr+ Ion," Science 306, 1355-1358 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. A. A. Madej, J. E. Bernard, P. Dubé, L. Marmet, and R. S. Windeler, "Absolute frequency of the 88Sr+ 5s2S1=2-4d2D5=2 reference transition at 445 THz and evaluation of systematic shifts," Phys. Rev. A 70, 012507 (2004). [CrossRef]
  6. T. Rosenband, D. B. Hume, P. O. Schmidt, C. W. Chou, A. Brusch, L. Lorini, W. H. Oskay, R. E. Drullinger, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, S. A. Diddams, W. C. Swann, N. R. Newbury, W. M. Itano, D. J. Wineland, and J. C. Bergquist, "Frequency Ratio of Al+ and Hg+ Single-Ion Optical Clocks; Metrology at the 17th Decimal Place," Science 319, 1808-1812 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. A. D. Ludlow, T. Zelevinsky, G. K. Campbell, S. Blatt, M. M. Boyd, M. H. G. de Miranda, M. J. Martin, J. W. Thomsen, S. M. Foreman, J. Ye, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, S. A. Diddams, Y. Le Coq, Z. W. Barber, N. Poli, N. D. Lemke, K. M. Beck, and C.W. Oates, "Sr lattice clock at 1£10¡16 fractional uncertainty by remote optical evaluation with a Ca clock," Science 319, 1805-1808 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. N. Poli, Z. W. Barber, N. D. Lemke, C. W. Oates, L.-S. Ma, J. E. Stalnaker, T. M. Fortier, S. A. Diddams, L. Hollberg, J. C. Bergquist, A. Brusch, S. Jefferts, T. Heavner, and T. Parker, "Frequency evaluation of the doubly forbidden 1S0-3P0 transition in bosonic 174Yb," Phys. Rev. A 77, 050501 (2008). [CrossRef]
  9. M. Takamoto, F.-L. Hong, R. Higashi, and H. Katori, "An optical lattice clock," Nature 435, 321-324 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. U. Sterr, C. Degenhardt, H. Stoehr, C. Lisdat, H. Schnatz, J. Helmcke, F. Riehle, G. Wilpers, C. Oates, and L. Hollberg, "The optical calcium frequency standards of PTB and NIST," Comptes Rendus Physique 5, 845-855 (2004). [CrossRef]
  11. A. D. Ludlow, M. M. Boyd, T. Zelevinsky, S. M. Foreman, S. Blatt, M. Notcutt, T. Ido, and J. Ye, "Systematic Study of the 87Sr Clock Transition in an Optical Lattice," Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 033003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. R. Le Targat, X. Baillard, M. Fouché, A. Brusch, O. Tcherbakoff, G. D. Rovera, and P. Lemonde, "Accurate Optical Lattice Clock with 87Sr Atoms," Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 130801 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. G. K. Campbell, A. D. Ludlow, S. Blatt, J. W. Thomsen, M. J. Martin, M. H. G. Miranda, T. Zelevinsky, M. M. Boyd, J. Ye, S. A. Diddams, T. P. Heavner, T. E. Parker, and S. R. Jefferts, "The absolute frequency of the 87Sr optical clock transition," Metrologia 45, 539-548 (2008). [CrossRef]
  14. K.-K. Ni, S. Ospelkaus, M. H. G. de Miranda, A. Pe’er, B. Neyenhuis, J. J. Zirbel, S. Kotochigova, P. S. Julienne, D. S. Jin, and J. Ye, "A High Phase-Space-Density Gas of Polar Molecules," Science 322, 231-235 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. J. G. Danzl, E. Haller, M. Gustavsson, M. J. Mark, R. Hart, N. Bouloufa, O. Dulieu, H. Ritsch, and H.-C. Nagerl, "Quantum Gas of Deeply Bound Ground State Molecules," Science 321, 1062-1066 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. L. S. Ma, Z. Bi, A. Bartels, L. Robertsson, 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]
  17. L.-S. Ma, Z. Bi, A. Bartels, K. Kim, L. Robertsson, M. Zucco, R. S. Windeler, G. Wilpers, C. Oates, L. Hollberg, and S. A. Diddams, "Frequency Uncertainty for Optically Referenced Femtosecond Laser Frequency Combs," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 43, 139-146 (2007). [CrossRef]
  18. 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]
  19. J. Stenger, H. Schnatz, C. Tamm, and H. R. Telle, "Ultraprecise Measurement of Optical Frequency Ratios," Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 073601 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. T. R. Schibli, I. Hartl, D. C. Yost, M. J. Martin, A. Marcinkevi, M. E. Fermann, and J. Ye, "Optical frequency comb with submillihertz linewidth and more than 10 W average power," Nature Photon. 2, 355-359 (2008). [CrossRef]
  21. 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]
  22. J. Reichert, R. Holzwarth, T. Udem, and T. W. Hänsch, "Measuring the frequency of light with mode-locked lasers," Opt. Commun. 172, 59-68 (1999). [CrossRef]
  23. 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]
  24. T. M. Fortier, D. J. Jones, and S. T. Cundiff, "Phase stabilization of an octave-spanning Ti:sapphire laser," Opt. Lett. 28, 2198-2200 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. T. M. Fortier, J. Ye, S. T. Cundiff, and R. S. Windeler, "Nonlinear phase noise generated in air-silica microstructure fiber and its effect on carrier-envelope phase," Opt. Lett. 27, 445-447 (2002). [CrossRef]
  26. A. L. Schawlow and C. H. Townes, "Infrared and Optical Masers," Phys. Rev. 112, 1940-1949 (1958). [CrossRef]
  27. P. Goldberg, P. W. Milonni, and B. Sundaram, "Theory of the fundamental laser linewidth," Phys. Rev. A 44, 1969-1985 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. R. Paschotta, "Noise of mode-locked lasers (Part II): timing jitter and other fluctuations," Appl. Phys. B 79, 163-173 (2004). [CrossRef]
  29. 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]
  30. F. X. Kärtner, U. Morgner, T. Schibli, R. Ell, H. A. Haus, J. G. Fujimoto, and E. P. Ippen, "Few-Cycle pulses directly from a laser," in Few-cycle laser pulse generation and its applications, F. X. Kärtner, ed., Topics in Appl. Phys. 95, 73-135 (Springer-Verlag Berlin, 2004).
  31. J. K. Wahlstrand, J. T. Willits, C. R. Menyuk, and S. T. Cundiff, "The quantum-limited comb lineshape of a mode-locked laser: Fundamental limits on frequency uncertainty," Opt. Express 16, 18624-18630 (2008). [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