Frequency combs

Frequency combs are light sources with a spectrum that comprises a series of sharp, equally spaced lines. The frequencies of these lines are known to a very high degree of accuracy, which makes frequency combs an important tool in optical metrology and high-resolution spectroscopy.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Chip-based frequency combs promise many applications, but full integration requires the electrical pump source and the microresonator to be on the same chip. Here, the authors show such integration of a microcomb with < 100 GHz mode spacing without additional filtering cavities or on-chip heaters.

    • Arslan S. Raja
    • , Andrey S. Voloshin
    • , Hairun Guo
    • , Sofya E. Agafonova
    • , Junqiu Liu
    • , Alexander S. Gorodnitskiy
    • , Maxim Karpov
    • , Nikolay G. Pavlov
    • , Erwan Lucas
    • , Ramzil R. Galiev
    • , Artem E. Shitikov
    • , John D. Jost
    • , Michael L. Gorodetsky
    •  & Tobias J. Kippenberg
  • Research |

    A microphotonic astrocomb is demonstrated via temporal dissipative Kerr solitons in photonic-chip-based silicon nitride microresonators with a precision of 25 cm s–1 (radial velocity equivalent), useful for Earth-like planet detection and cosmological research.

    • Ewelina Obrzud
    • , Monica Rainer
    • , Avet Harutyunyan
    • , Miles H. Anderson
    • , Junqiu Liu
    • , Michael Geiselmann
    • , Bruno Chazelas
    • , Stefan Kundermann
    • , Steve Lecomte
    • , Massimo Cecconi
    • , Adriano Ghedina
    • , Emilio Molinari
    • , Francesco Pepe
    • , François Wildi
    • , François Bouchy
    • , Tobias J. Kippenberg
    •  & Tobias Herr
    Nature Photonics 13, 31-35
  • Research |

    A broadband multi-frequency Fabry–Pérot laser diode, when coupled to a high-Q microresonator, can be efficiently transformed to an ~100 mW narrow-linewidth single-frequency light source, and subsequently, to a coherent soliton Kerr comb oscillator.

    • N. G. Pavlov
    • , S. Koptyaev
    • , G. V. Lihachev
    • , A. S. Voloshin
    • , A. S. Gorodnitskiy
    • , M. V. Ryabko
    • , S. V. Polonsky
    •  & M. L. Gorodetsky
    Nature Photonics 12, 694-698
  • Research |

    A nonlinear coherent spectroscopy that uses three slightly different repetition-rate frequency combs is demonstrated. A 2D spectrum with comb resolution is generated using only 365 milliseconds of data, almost 600 times faster than previous approaches.

    • Bachana Lomsadze
    • , Brad C. Smith
    •  & Steven T. Cundiff
    Nature Photonics 12, 676-680
  • Research |

    Integrating an optical Kerr frequency comb source with an electronically excited laser pump produces a battery-powered comb generator that does not require external lasers, moveable optics or laboratory set-ups.

    • Brian Stern
    • , Xingchen Ji
    • , Yoshitomo Okawachi
    • , Alexander L. Gaeta
    •  & Michal Lipson
    Nature 562, 401-405

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Microphotonic frequency combs are chip-based light sources, until now confined to optics laboratories. Improved stabilities usher these devices out of the lab and into high-resolution astronomic spectrometer systems.

    • Piotr Roztocki
    •  & Roberto Morandotti
    Nature Astronomy 3, 135-136
  • Research Highlights |

    Two Nature Photonics papers report on microresonator laser frequency combs that enable spectrometer calibration with a precision high enough to potentially spot Earth-like planets in exo-planet searches.

    • Zoe Budrikis
  • News and Views |

    Spatial multiplexing enables the simultaneous generation of several low-noise frequency combs in a single microresonator, promising to enhance a host of applications such as multidimensional coherent spectroscopy.

    • Miro Erkintalo
    Nature Photonics 12, 645-647
  • News and Views |

    A chip-based optical frequency comb source has now been successfully used to send 661 Tbit s–1 over 9.6 km of multicore fibre, bringing considerable savings in the energy consumption and size of data transmission equipment.

    • Daniel J. Blumenthal
    Nature Photonics 12, 447-450