Letter abstract


Nature Photonics 4, 33 - 36 (2010)
Published online: 20 December 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2009.258

Subject Categories: Lasers, LEDs and light sources | Nonlinear optics | Ultrafast photonics

Synthesis of a single cycle of light with compact erbium-doped fibre technology

Günther Krauss1,2, Sebastian Lohss1,2, Tobias Hanke1, Alexander Sell1, Stefan Eggert1, Rupert Huber1 & Alfred Leitenstorfer1


The advent of self-referenced optical frequency combs1, 2 has sparked the development of novel areas in ultrafast sciences such as attosecond technology3, 4 and the synthesis of arbitrary optical waveforms5, 6. Few-cycle light pulses are key to these time-domain applications, driving a quest for reliable, stable and cost-efficient mode-locked laser sources with ultrahigh spectral bandwidth. Here, we present a set-up based entirely on compact erbium-doped fibre technology, which produces single cycles of light. The pulse duration of 4.3 fs is close to the shortest possible value for a data bit of information transmitted in the near-infrared regime. These results demonstrate that fundamental limits for optical telecommunications are accessible with existing fibre technology and standard free-space components.

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  1. Department of Physics and Center for Applied Photonics, University of Konstanz, D-78464 Konstanz, Germany
  2. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: Alfred Leitenstorfer1 e-mail: alfred.leitenstorfer@uni-konstanz.de



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