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Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines


Pulse-shaping techniques, in which user-specified, ultrashort-pulse fields are synthesized by means of parallel manipulation of optical Fourier components, have now been widely adopted1,2,3,4,5,6. Mode-locked lasers producing combs of frequency-stabilized spectral lines have resulted in revolutionary advances in frequency metrology7,8,9,10,11. However, until recently, pulse shapers addressed spectral lines in groups, at low spectral resolution. Line-by-line pulse shaping12, in which spectral lines are resolved and manipulated individually, leads to a fundamentally new regime for optical arbitrary waveform generation13, in which the advantages of pulse shaping and of frequency combs are exploited simultaneously. Here we demonstrate programmable line-by-line shaping of more than 100 spectral lines, which constitutes a significant step in scaling towards high waveform complexity. Optical arbitrary waveform generation promises to have an impact both in optical science (allowing, for example, coherent control generalizations of comb-based time–frequency spectroscopies10) and in technology (enabling new truly coherent multiwavelength processing concepts for spread-spectrum lightwave communications and light detection and ranging, lidar).

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Figure 1: Experimental set up and high-rate ultrashort pulse generation.
Figure 2: Generation of over 1,000 stable spectral lines starting from one single line.
Figure 3: Spectral line-by-line shaping of 108 lines: spectral intensity control.
Figure 4: Spectral line-by-line shaping of 108 lines: spectral phase control.
Figure 5: Line-by-line shaping of 108 lines: complex O-AWG.


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This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Air Force Office of Scientific Research under Grant FA9550-06-1-0189 and by the National Science Foundation under Grant ECCS-0601692.

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Correspondence to Andrew M. Weiner.

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Jiang, Z., Huang, CB., Leaird, D. et al. Optical arbitrary waveform processing of more than 100 spectral comb lines. Nature Photon 1, 463–467 (2007).

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