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Journal ArticleDOI

Terahertz wave generation using a soliton microcomb

25 Nov 2019-Optics Express (Optical Society of America)-Vol. 27, Iss: 24, pp 35257-35266
TL;DR: In this article, a micro-resonator-based frequency comb (microcomb) was used to generate stable terahertz wave at the soliton's repetition rate (331 GHz).
Abstract: The Terahertz or millimeter wave frequency band (300 GHz - 3 THz) is spectrally located between microwaves and infrared light and has attracted significant interest for applications in broadband wireless communications, space-borne radiometers for Earth remote sensing, astrophysics, and imaging. In particular optically generated THz waves are of high interest for low-noise signal generation. Here, we propose and demonstrate stabilized terahertz wave generation using a microresonator-based frequency comb (microcomb). A unitravelling-carrier photodiode (UTC-PD) converts low-noise optical soliton pulses from the microcomb to a terahertz wave at the soliton's repetition rate (331 GHz). With a free-running microcomb, the Allan deviation of the Terahertz signal is 4.5×10-9 at 1 s measurement time with a phase noise of -72 dBc/Hz (-118 dBc/Hz) at 10 kHz (10 MHz) offset frequency. By locking the repetition rate to an in-house hydrogen maser, in-loop fractional frequency stabilities of 9.6×10-15 and 1.9×10-17 are obtained at averaging times of 1 s and 2000 s respectively, indicating that the stability of the generated THz wave is limited by the maser reference signal. Moreover, the terahertz signal is successfully used to perform a proof-of-principle demonstration of terahertz imaging of peanuts. Combining the monolithically integrated UTC-PD with an on-chip microcomb, the demonstrated technique could provide a route towards highly stable continuous terahertz wave generation in chip-scale packages for out-of-the-lab applications. In particular, such systems would be useful as compact tools for high-capacity wireless communication, spectroscopy, imaging, remote sensing, and astrophysical applications.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
24 Jun 2020
TL;DR: In this article, the formation of such patterns in a system composed of a microresonator nested in an amplifying laser cavity is studied, revealing their formation dynamics and demonstrating their controllability and robustness.
Abstract: Microcombs based on Turing patterns have been extensively studied in configurations that can be modelled by the Lugiato-Lefever equation Typically, such schemes are implemented experimentally by resonant coupling of a continuous wave laser to a Kerr microcavity in order to generate highly coherent and robust waves Here, we study the formation of such patterns in a system composed of a microresonator nested in an amplifying laser cavity, a scheme recently used to demonstrate laser cavity solitons with high optical efficiency and easy repetition rate control Utilizing this concept, we study different regimes of Turing patterns, unveiling their formation dynamics and demonstrating their controllability and robustness By conducting a comprehensive modulational instability study with a mean-field model of the system, we explain the pattern formation in terms of its evolution from background noise, paving the way towards complete self-starting operation Our theoretical and experimental paper provides a clear pathway for repetition rate control of these waves over both fine (Megahertz) and large (Gigahertz) scales, featuring a fractional frequency nonuniformity better than 7 × 10−14 with a 100-ms time gate and without the need for active stabilization

54 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The demonstrated technique provides an alternative way to generate broadband microcombs and enables the selective enhancement of optical power in specific parts of a comb spectrum.
Abstract: Broadband optical frequency combs are extremely versatile tools for precision spectroscopy, ultrafast ranging, as channel generators for telecom networks, and for many other metrology applications. Here, we demonstrate that the optical spectrum of a soliton microcomb generated in a microresonator can be extended by bichromatic pumping: one laser with a wavelength in the anomalous dispersion regime of the microresonator generates a bright soliton microcomb while another laser in the normal dispersion regime both compensates the thermal effect of the microresonator and generates a repetition-rate-synchronized second frequency comb. Numerical simulations agree well with experimental results and reveal that a bright optical pulse from the second pump is passively formed in the normal dispersion regime and trapped by the primary soliton. In addition, we demonstrate that a dispersive wave can be generated and influenced by cross-phase-modulation-mediated repetition-rate synchronization of the two combs. The demonstrated technique provides an alternative way to generate broadband microcombs and enables the selective enhancement of optical power in specific parts of a comb spectrum.

48 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors demonstrate the optical frequency division of an optically carried 3.6 GHz reference down to 300 GHz through a dissipative Kerr soliton, photodetected with an ultrafast uni-travelling-carrier photodiode.
Abstract: Optical frequency division via optical frequency combs has enabled a leap in microwave metrology, leading to noise performance never explored before. Extending this method to the millimetre-wave and terahertz-wave domains is of great interest. Dissipative Kerr solitons in integrated photonic chips offer the unique feature of delivering optical frequency combs with ultrahigh repetition rates from 10 GHz to 1 THz, making them relevant gears for performing optical frequency division in the millimetre-wave and terahertz-wave domains. We experimentally demonstrate the optical frequency division of an optically carried 3.6 THz reference down to 300 GHz through a dissipative Kerr soliton, photodetected with an ultrafast uni-travelling-carrier photodiode. A new measurement system, based on the characterization of a microwave reference phase locked to the 300 GHz signal under test, yields attosecond-level timing-noise sensitivity, overcoming conventional technical limitations. This work places dissipative Kerr solitons as a leading technology in the millimetre-wave and terahertz-wave field, promising breakthroughs in fundamental and civilian applications. A 300 GHz signal is generated by the combination of a low-noise stimulated Brillouin scattering process, dissipative Kerr soliton comb and optical-to-electrical conversion. A phase noise of −100 dBc Hz−1 is achieved at a Fourier frequency of 10 kHz.

44 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the research status and prospects of several common continuous-wave (CW) terahertz medical imaging systems and applications of THz medical imaging in biological tissues.
Abstract: In the past few decades, the applications of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and imaging technology have seen significant developments in the fields of biology, medical diagnosis, food safety, and nondestructive testing. Label-free diagnosis of malignant tumours has been obtained and also achieved significant development in THz biomedical imaging. This review mainly presents the research status and prospects of several common continuous-wave (CW) THz medical imaging systems and applications of THz medical imaging in biological tissues. Here, we first introduce the properties of THz waves and how these properties play a role in biomedical imaging. Then, we analyse both the advantages and disadvantages of the CW THz imaging methods and the progress of these methods in THz biomedical imaging in recent ten years. Finally, we summarise the obstacles in the way of the application of THz bio-imaging application technology in clinical detection, which need to be investigated and overcome in the future.

38 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a nanophotonic chip solution based on aluminum nitride thin films, which simultaneously offers optical Kerr nonlinearity for generating octave soliton combs and quadratic nonlinearities for enabling heterodyne detection of the offset frequency, is presented.
Abstract: Frequency microcombs, alternative to mode-locked laser and fiber combs, enable miniature rulers of light for applications including precision metrology, molecular fingerprinting and exoplanet discoveries. To enable frequency ruling functions, microcombs must be stabilized by locking their carrier-envelope offset frequency. So far, the microcomb stabilization remains compounded by the elaborate optics external to the chip, thus evading its scaling benefit. To address this challenge, here we demonstrate a nanophotonic chip solution based on aluminum nitride thin films, which simultaneously offer optical Kerr nonlinearity for generating octave soliton combs and quadratic nonlinearity for enabling heterodyne detection of the offset frequency. The agile dispersion control of crystalline aluminum nitride photonics permits high-fidelity generation of solitons with features including 1.5-octave spectral span, dual dispersive waves, and sub-terahertz repetition rates down to 220 gigahertz. These attractive characteristics, aided by on-chip phase-matched aluminum nitride waveguides, allow the full determination of the offset frequency. Our proof-of-principle demonstration represents an important milestone towards fully integrated self-locked microcombs for portable optical atomic clocks and frequency synthesizers. Though octave soliton microcombs are attractive for on-chip metrology and optical clocks, limitations in existing materials lead to increased chip integration complexity. Here, the authors report access to octave soliton microcombs and self-referencing using aluminium nitride nanophotonic chips.

36 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An overview of the status of the terahertz technology, its uses and its future prospects are presented in this article, with a focus on the use of the waveband in a wide range of applications.
Abstract: Research into terahertz technology is now receiving increasing attention around the world, and devices exploiting this waveband are set to become increasingly important in a very diverse range of applications. Here, an overview of the status of the technology, its uses and its future prospects are presented.

5,512 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
06 Jun 2003
TL;DR: This work demonstrates a process for producing silica toroid-shaped microresonators-on-a-chip with Q factors in excess of 100 million using a combination of lithography, dry etching and a selective reflow process, representing an improvement of nearly four orders of magnitude over previous chip-based resonators.
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2,177 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
20 Dec 2007-Nature
TL;DR: This work reports a substantially different approach to comb generation, in which equally spaced frequency markers are produced by the interaction between a continuous-wave pump laser of a known frequency with the modes of a monolithic ultra-high-Q microresonator via the Kerr nonlinearity.
Abstract: Optical frequency combs provide equidistant frequency markers in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet, and can be used to link an unknown optical frequency to a radio or microwave frequency reference. Since their inception, frequency combs have triggered substantial advances in optical frequency metrology and precision measurements and in applications such as broadband laser-based gas sensing and molecular fingerprinting. Early work generated frequency combs by intra-cavity phase modulation; subsequently, frequency combs have been generated using the comb-like mode structure of mode-locked lasers, whose repetition rate and carrier envelope phase can be stabilized. Here we report a substantially different approach to comb generation, in which equally spaced frequency markers are produced by the interaction between a continuous-wave pump laser of a known frequency with the modes of a monolithic ultra-high-Q microresonator via the Kerr nonlinearity. The intrinsically broadband nature of parametric gain makes it possible to generate discrete comb modes over a 500-nm-wide span (approximately 70 THz) around 1,550 nm without relying on any external spectral broadening. Optical-heterodyne-based measurements reveal that cascaded parametric interactions give rise to an optical frequency comb, overcoming passive cavity dispersion. The uniformity of the mode spacing has been verified to within a relative experimental precision of 7.3 x 10(-18). In contrast to femtosecond mode-locked lasers, this work represents a step towards a monolithic optical frequency comb generator, allowing considerable reduction in size, complexity and power consumption. Moreover, the approach can operate at previously unattainable repetition rates, exceeding 100 GHz, which are useful in applications where access to individual comb modes is required, such as optical waveform synthesis, high capacity telecommunications or astrophysical spectrometer calibration.

1,950 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
29 Apr 2011-Science
TL;DR: A new optical frequency comb generation principle has emerged that uses parametric frequency conversion in high resonance quality factor (Q) microresonators, permitting an increased number of comb applications, such as in astronomy, microwave photonics, or telecommunications.
Abstract: The series of precisely spaced, sharp spectral lines that form an optical frequency comb is enabling unprecedented measurement capabilities and new applications in a wide range of topics that include precision spectroscopy, atomic clocks, ultracold gases, and molecular fingerprinting. A new optical frequency comb generation principle has emerged that uses parametric frequency conversion in high resonance quality factor (Q) microresonators. This approach provides access to high repetition rates in the range of 10 to 1000 gigahertz through compact, chip-scale integration, permitting an increased number of comb applications, such as in astronomy, microwave photonics, or telecommunications. We review this emerging area and discuss opportunities that it presents for novel technologies as well as for fundamental science.

1,660 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, temporal dissipative solitons are observed in a nonlinear, high-finesse, optical microresonator driven by a continuous-wave laser, enabling ultrashort pulses to be generated in spectral regimes lacking broadband laser gain media and saturable absorbers.
Abstract: Temporal dissipative solitons are observed in a nonlinear, high-finesse, optical microresonator driven by a continuous-wave laser. This approach enables ultrashort pulses to be generated in spectral regimes lacking broadband laser gain media and saturable absorbers, making it potentially useful for applications in broadband spectroscopy, telecommunications, astronomy and low-phase-noise microwave generation.

1,602 citations