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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 17 — Aug. 16, 2010
  • pp: 18171–18179
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Self-referenced characterization of optical frequency combs and arbitrary waveforms using a simple, linear, zero-delay implementation of spectral shearing interferometry

V. R. Supradeepa, Christopher M. Long, Daniel E. Leaird, and Andrew M. Weiner  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 17, pp. 18171-18179 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.018171


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Abstract

We discuss a simple, linear, zero-delay implementation of spectral shearing interferometry for amplitude and phase characterization of optical frequency comb sources and arbitrary waveforms. We demonstrate this technique by characterizing two different high repetition rate (~10 GHz) frequency comb sources, generated respectively by strong external and intracavity phase modulation of a continuous-wave laser. This technique is easy to implement, requiring only an intensity modulator and an optical spectrum analyzer (OSA), and is demonstrated to work at average power levels down to 100nW (10aJ/pulse at 10 GHz). By exploiting the long coherence lengths of these frequency combs and the self-referenced nature of the measurement, we also demonstrate a simple single-ended measurement of dispersion and dispersion slope in long lengths of fiber (>25km).

© 2010 OSA

1. Introduction

In recent years there has been significant work to characterize optical waveforms emanating from high repetition rate frequency combs. A key area driving the need for new measurement schemes is optical arbitrary waveform generation (OAWG) [1

1. Z. Jiang, C.-B. Huang, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines,” Nat. Photonics 1(8), 463–467 (2007). [CrossRef]

], wherein individual comb lines are controlled with arbitrary user defined phase and amplitude. When the pulse shaping function is not rapidly changing, i.e., static or quasi-static, OAWG generates periodic, very high complexity user defined waveforms (preserving the comb structure in the frequency domain) with applications ranging from communications and LIDAR to spectroscopy.

2. Experimental setup

3. Results

Figure 1(d) shows a representative spectrum from a comb source generated by strong phase and intensity modulation of a CW laser [5

5. C.-B. Huang, S.-G. Park, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Nonlinearly broadened phase-modulated continuous-wave laser frequency combs characterized using DPSK decoding,” Opt. Express 16(4), 2520–2527 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Since the phase modulation dominates, in the time domain this comb still has a relatively flat, wide temporal envelope. This corresponds to abrupt line to line phase variations. Figures 1(e) and 1(f) show representative spectra obtained with the two RF phase shifter settings from which the spectral amplitude and phase can be obtained. Figure 2(a)
Fig. 2 (a) Retrieved spectral phase for the comb source, (b) Measured intensity autocorrelations of the comb source with no spectral phase correction (solid line) and for phase correction based on measurements performed at an average power of 0dBm (dotted line, blue), −40dBm (dashed line, red). All the autocorrelations were performed with the same average input power into the autocorrelator. The simulated intensity autocorrelation (not plotted) taking the measured power spectra and assuming flat spectral phase matches very closely with the 0dBm trace.
shows the retrieved spectral phase indicating a strong line to line phase variation. By programming the retrieved phase onto a pulse-shaper [1

1. Z. Jiang, C.-B. Huang, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines,” Nat. Photonics 1(8), 463–467 (2007). [CrossRef]

], we compress the comb signal into a train of bandwidth-limited pulses. Figure 2(b) shows the intensity autocorrelations of different cases superimposed on each other. The solid line (green) corresponds to the uncorrected comb having a wide envelope with close to 100% duty factor, which is a hallmark of OAWG waveforms. Phase retrieval followed by correction with a pulse shaper was done at two different average power levels (measured at the input to the measurement apparatus) (~3mW (dotted, blue) and 100nW (dashed, red)). Though different powers were used for the measurement, all the three autocorrelations were taken at the same input power to the autocorrelator and have been normalized relative to each other. In both cases involving correction, the autocorrelation clearly collapses into a pulse, which validates the measurement results. We further verified the measured autocorrelations with the simulated autocorrelation taking the spectra into account and assuming flat spectral phase and we observed that, in the 3mW case, the measured and simulated autocorrelations match very well. Regarding powers, we note that at 100nW, the energy per pulse is 10aJ, indicating very low power operation. The measurement time is largely limited at this point by the sweep speed of the monochromator based OSA which is of the order of a few seconds. However, by moving to a spectrometer with a detector array as in [13

13. V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(1), 25–33 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], this can be significantly improved (we have shown acquisitions as fast as ~1.4 microseconds in [13

13. V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(1), 25–33 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]).

Simulations showed us that this number is ~2ps. The retrieved time domain waveform from the amplitude and phase information (by a Fourier transform relation) is shown in Fig. 3(d) (solid, blue). On closer inspection, we saw that the pulse spacing was smaller than 50ps by around 2ps indicating the chirp effect discussed above. For comparison we show the measured waveform with a 60GHz photodiode and 50 GHz sampling oscilloscope in Fig. 3(e) (solid blue). We see a clear match between the two, but owing to the much larger measurement bandwidth (>1 THz) in the optical measurement case, the true pulse shapes are seen, which include the actual temporal width and any temporal dispersion effects. We can modify the output waveforms by changing the bias voltage of the RF drive signal to the OFCG, shown in Figs. 3(d) and 3(e) [(dashed, red), (dotted, green)]. The pulse positions revealed by our optical method and electrical detection are again in good agreement, although the optical measurement provides much finer temporal resolution. Figures 3(d) and 3(e) (dotted, green) are particularly interesting because in this setting, the bandwidth of the OFCG is smaller (corresponding to a wider pulse), and the pulses begin to overlap; these effects cannot be discerned with the scope trace.

In summary, in this work we reported experiments on pulse compression and characterization of two different “novel” frequency comb sources as well as measurements of fiber dispersion by means of an easy-to-use and linear adaptation of zero-delay spectral shearing interferometry. We observed good performance down to very low power levels (100nW average, 10aJ/pulse). This technique may be generalized to low repetition rate sources, such as passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber lasers, either by using phase locked oscillators to generate spectral shears which are multiples of the repetition rate or by using high resolution OSAs [22] to achieve line-by-line characterization of these waveforms. As we move towards lower repetition combs or wider bandwidths or both, integrated noise may be expected to increasingly affect the phase retrieval process, as in conventional SSI [11

11. I. A. Walmsley and C. Dorrer, “Characterization of ultrashort electromagnetic pulses,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(2), 308–437 (2009). [CrossRef]

]; further investigation is necessary in order to quantify the limits for scaling of this measurement technique.

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant ECCS-0601692.

References and links

1.

Z. Jiang, C.-B. Huang, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines,” Nat. Photonics 1(8), 463–467 (2007). [CrossRef]

2.

M. Kourogi, K. Nakagawa, and M. Ohtsu, “Wide-span optical frequency comb generator for accurate optical frequency difference measurement,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 29(10), 2693–2701 (1993). [CrossRef]

3.

H. Murata, A. Morimoto, T. Kobayashi, and S. Yamamoto, “Optical pulse generation by electroopticmodulation method and its application to integrated ultrashort pulse generators,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 6(6), 1325–1331 (2000). [CrossRef]

4.

P. Del’Haye, A. Schliesser, O. Arcizet, T. Wilken, R. Holzwarth, and T. J. Kippenberg, “Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator,” Nature 450(7173), 1214–1217 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

C.-B. Huang, S.-G. Park, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Nonlinearly broadened phase-modulated continuous-wave laser frequency combs characterized using DPSK decoding,” Opt. Express 16(4), 2520–2527 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

S. M. Foreman, K. W. Holman, D. D. Hudson, D. J. Jones, and J. Ye, “Remote transfer of ultrastable frequency references via fiber networks,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 78(2), 021101 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

F. Narbonneau, M. Lours, S. Bize, A. Clairon, G. Santarelli, O. Lopez, Ch. Daussy, A. Amy-Klein, and Ch. Chardonnet, “High resolution frequency standard dissemination via optical fiber metropolitan network,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77(6), 064701 (2006). [CrossRef]

8.

A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

9.

R. Trebino, “Frequency resolved optical gating: The measurement of ultrashort optical pulses,” Springer publications (2002).

10.

R. P. Scott, N. K. Fontaine, J. Cao, K. Okamoto, B. H. Kolner, J. P. Heritage, and S. J. Yoo, “High-fidelity line-by-line optical waveform generation and complete characterization using FROG,” Opt. Express 15(16), 9977–9988 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

I. A. Walmsley and C. Dorrer, “Characterization of ultrashort electromagnetic pulses,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(2), 308–437 (2009). [CrossRef]

12.

C. Dorrer and I. Kang, “Highly sensitive direct characterization of femtosecond pulses by electro-optic spectral shearing interferometry,” Opt. Lett. 28(6), 477–479 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(1), 25–33 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

N. K. Fontaine, R. P. Scott, J. P. Heritage, and S. J. B. Yoo, “Near quantum-limited, single-shot coherent arbitrary optical waveform measurements,” Opt. Express 17(15), 12332–12344 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Single shot amplitude and phase characterization of optical arbitrary waveforms,” Opt. Express 17(16), 14434–14443 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

J. Cohen, P. Bowlan, V. Chauhan, and R. Trebino, “Measuring temporally complex ultrashort pulses using multiple-delay crossed-beam spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 18(7), 6583–6597 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

H. Miao, D. E. Leaird, C. Langrock, M. M. Fejer, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral shearing interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(5), 3381–3389 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

J. Debeau, B. Kowalski, and R. Boittin, “Simple method for the complete characterization of an optical pulse,” Opt. Lett. 23(22), 1784–1786 (1998). [CrossRef]

19.

M. Kwakernaak, R. Schreieck, A. Neiger, H. Jäckel, E. Gini, and W. Vogt, “Spectral phase measurement of mode-locked diode laser pulses by beating sidebands generated by electrooptical mixing,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 12(12), 1677–1679 (2000). [CrossRef]

20.

Z. Jiang, D. Leaird, C. B. Huang, H. Miao, M. Kourogi, K. Imai, and A. M. Weiner, “Spectral line-by-line pulse shaping on an optical frequency comb generator,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 43(12), 1163–1174 (2007). [CrossRef]

21.

V. R. Supradeepa, C. M. Long, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Fast Characterization of Dispersion and Dispersion Slope of Optical Fiber Links Using Spectral Interferometry With Frequency Combs,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22(3), 155–157 (2010). [CrossRef]

22.

http://www.aragonphotonics.com/ficha.php?cat=76&id=80&opt=2

OCIS Codes
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.2300) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber measurements
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(320.5540) Ultrafast optics : Pulse shaping
(320.7100) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast measurements

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

History
Original Manuscript: May 28, 2010
Revised Manuscript: July 30, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: August 6, 2010
Published: August 9, 2010

Citation
V. R. Supradeepa, Christopher M. Long, Daniel E. Leaird, and Andrew M. Weiner, "Self-referenced characterization of optical frequency combs and arbitrary waveforms using a simple, linear, zero-delay implementation of spectral shearing interferometry," Opt. Express 18, 18171-18179 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-17-18171


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References

  1. Z. Jiang, C.-B. Huang, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines,” Nat. Photonics 1(8), 463–467 (2007). [CrossRef]
  2. M. Kourogi, K. Nakagawa, and M. Ohtsu, “Wide-span optical frequency comb generator for accurate optical frequency difference measurement,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 29(10), 2693–2701 (1993). [CrossRef]
  3. H. Murata, A. Morimoto, T. Kobayashi, and S. Yamamoto, “Optical pulse generation by electroopticmodulation method and its application to integrated ultrashort pulse generators,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 6(6), 1325–1331 (2000). [CrossRef]
  4. P. Del’Haye, A. Schliesser, O. Arcizet, T. Wilken, R. Holzwarth, and T. J. Kippenberg, “Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator,” Nature 450(7173), 1214–1217 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. C.-B. Huang, S.-G. Park, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Nonlinearly broadened phase-modulated continuous-wave laser frequency combs characterized using DPSK decoding,” Opt. Express 16(4), 2520–2527 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. S. M. Foreman, K. W. Holman, D. D. Hudson, D. J. Jones, and J. Ye, “Remote transfer of ultrastable frequency references via fiber networks,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 78(2), 021101 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. F. Narbonneau, M. Lours, S. Bize, A. Clairon, G. Santarelli, O. Lopez, Ch. Daussy, A. Amy-Klein, and Ch. Chardonnet, “High resolution frequency standard dissemination via optical fiber metropolitan network,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77(6), 064701 (2006). [CrossRef]
  8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. R. Trebino, “Frequency resolved optical gating: The measurement of ultrashort optical pulses,” Springer publications (2002).
  10. R. P. Scott, N. K. Fontaine, J. Cao, K. Okamoto, B. H. Kolner, J. P. Heritage, and S. J. Yoo, “High-fidelity line-by-line optical waveform generation and complete characterization using FROG,” Opt. Express 15(16), 9977–9988 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. I. A. Walmsley and C. Dorrer, “Characterization of ultrashort electromagnetic pulses,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(2), 308–437 (2009). [CrossRef]
  12. C. Dorrer and I. Kang, “Highly sensitive direct characterization of femtosecond pulses by electro-optic spectral shearing interferometry,” Opt. Lett. 28(6), 477–479 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(1), 25–33 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. N. K. Fontaine, R. P. Scott, J. P. Heritage, and S. J. B. Yoo, “Near quantum-limited, single-shot coherent arbitrary optical waveform measurements,” Opt. Express 17(15), 12332–12344 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. V. R. Supradeepa, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Single shot amplitude and phase characterization of optical arbitrary waveforms,” Opt. Express 17(16), 14434–14443 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. J. Cohen, P. Bowlan, V. Chauhan, and R. Trebino, “Measuring temporally complex ultrashort pulses using multiple-delay crossed-beam spectral interferometry,” Opt. Express 18(7), 6583–6597 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. H. Miao, D. E. Leaird, C. Langrock, M. M. Fejer, and A. M. Weiner, “Optical arbitrary waveform characterization via dual-quadrature spectral shearing interferometry,” Opt. Express 17(5), 3381–3389 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. J. Debeau, B. Kowalski, and R. Boittin, “Simple method for the complete characterization of an optical pulse,” Opt. Lett. 23(22), 1784–1786 (1998). [CrossRef]
  19. M. Kwakernaak, R. Schreieck, A. Neiger, H. Jäckel, E. Gini, and W. Vogt, “Spectral phase measurement of mode-locked diode laser pulses by beating sidebands generated by electrooptical mixing,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 12(12), 1677–1679 (2000). [CrossRef]
  20. Z. Jiang, D. Leaird, C. B. Huang, H. Miao, M. Kourogi, K. Imai, and A. M. Weiner, “Spectral line-by-line pulse shaping on an optical frequency comb generator,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 43(12), 1163–1174 (2007). [CrossRef]
  21. V. R. Supradeepa, C. M. Long, D. E. Leaird, and A. M. Weiner, “Fast Characterization of Dispersion and Dispersion Slope of Optical Fiber Links Using Spectral Interferometry With Frequency Combs,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22(3), 155–157 (2010). [CrossRef]
  22. http://www.aragonphotonics.com/ficha.php?cat=76&id=80&opt=2

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