We independently phase lock the repetition rates of two femtosecond lasers at their ≈456, 000th harmonic to a common optical oscillator. The timing jitter of each individual laser relative to the optical reference is only 0.45 fs in a 100-Hz bandwidth. Our method takes advantage of the tremendous leverage that is possible when stability is transferred from the optical to the microwave domain. The low timing jitter is commensurate with the independently measured fractional frequency instability in the repetition rates of ≤2.3 × 10-15 in 1-s averaging time, limited by the measurement system. The microwave signals at 1 GHz that are extracted by photodetection of the pulse trains have a 10-times-greater instability, confirming the presence of excess noise in the photodetection.
[Optical Society of America ]
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(190.2620) Nonlinear optics : Harmonic generation and mixing
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers
(320.7160) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast technology
A. Bartels, S. A. Diddams, T. M. Ramond, and L. Hollberg, "Mode-locked laser pulse trains with subfemtosecond timing jitter synchronized to an optical reference oscillator," Opt. Lett. 28, 663-665 (2003)