Rueda Sanchez, Alfredo RIST Austria; Sedlmeir, Florian; Kumari, Madhuri; Leuchs, Gerd; Schwefel, Harald G.L.
High-speed optical telecommunication is enabled by wavelength-division multiplexing, whereby hundreds of individually stabilized lasers encode information within a single-mode optical fibre. Higher bandwidths require higher total optical power, but the power sent into the fibre is limited by optical nonlinearities within the fibre, and energy consumption by the light sources starts to become a substantial cost factor1. Optical frequency combs have been suggested to remedy this problem by generating numerous discrete, equidistant laser lines within a monolithic device; however, at present their stability and coherence allow them to operate only within small parameter ranges2,3,4. Here we show that a broadband frequency comb realized through the electro-optic effect within a high-quality whispering-gallery-mode resonator can operate at low microwave and optical powers. Unlike the usual third-order Kerr nonlinear optical frequency combs, our combs rely on the second-order nonlinear effect, which is much more efficient. Our result uses a fixed microwave signal that is mixed with an optical-pump signal to generate a coherent frequency comb with a precisely determined carrier separation. The resonant enhancement enables us to work with microwave powers that are three orders of magnitude lower than those in commercially available devices. We emphasize the practical relevance of our results to high rates of data communication. To circumvent the limitations imposed by nonlinear effects in optical communication fibres, one has to solve two problems: to provide a compact and fully integrated, yet high-quality and coherent, frequency comb generator; and to calculate nonlinear signal propagation in real time5. We report a solution to the first problem.
Rueda Sanchez AR, Sedlmeir F, Kumari M, Leuchs G, Schwefel HGL. Resonant electro-optic frequency comb. Nature. 2019;568(7752):378-381. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1110-x
Rueda Sanchez, A. R., Sedlmeir, F., Kumari, M., Leuchs, G., & Schwefel, H. G. L. (2019). Resonant electro-optic frequency comb. Nature. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1110-x
Rueda Sanchez, Alfredo R, Florian Sedlmeir, Madhuri Kumari, Gerd Leuchs, and Harald G.L. Schwefel. “Resonant Electro-Optic Frequency Comb.” Nature. Springer Nature, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1110-x.
A. R. Rueda Sanchez, F. Sedlmeir, M. Kumari, G. Leuchs, and H. G. L. Schwefel, “Resonant electro-optic frequency comb,” Nature, vol. 568, no. 7752. Springer Nature, pp. 378–381, 2019.
Rueda Sanchez AR, Sedlmeir F, Kumari M, Leuchs G, Schwefel HGL. 2019. Resonant electro-optic frequency comb. Nature. 568(7752), 378–381.
Rueda Sanchez, Alfredo R., et al. “Resonant Electro-Optic Frequency Comb.” Nature, vol. 568, no. 7752, Springer Nature, 2019, pp. 378–81, doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1110-x.
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