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Spectral line-by-line pulse shaping of on-chip microresonator frequency combs

Abstract

Recently, on-chip comb generation methods based on nonlinear optical modulation in ultrahigh-quality-factor monolithic microresonators have been demonstrated, where two pump photons are transformed into sideband photons in a four-wave-mixing process mediated by Kerr nonlinearity. Here, we investigate line-by-line pulse shaping of such combs generated in silicon nitride ring resonators. We observe two distinct paths to comb formation that exhibit strikingly different time-domain behaviours. For combs formed as a cascade of sidebands spaced by a single free spectral range that spread from the pump, we are able to compress stably to nearly bandwidth-limited pulses. This indicates high coherence across the spectra and provides new data on the high passive stability of the spectral phase. For combs where the initial sidebands are spaced by multiple free spectral ranges that then fill in to give combs with single free-spectral-range spacing, the time-domain data reveal partially coherent behaviour.

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Figure 1: High-Q silicon nitride microring.
Figure 2: Experimental set-up.
Figure 3: Generated Kerr frequency combs from silicon nitride rings.
Figure 4: Optical arbitrary waveform generation from a Kerr comb.
Figure 5: Compressed pulses of type-I Kerr combs.
Figure 6: Compressed pulses of type-II Kerr combs.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the comments and suggestions from V. Aksyuk, M. Qi, C. Long and Victor Torres Company, and thank the staff of the CNST Nanofab, particularly R. Kasica, for assistance with electron-beam lithography. This project was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grants ECCS-0925759 and ECCS-1102110), by the Naval Postgraduate School (grant N00244-09-1-0068) under the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship programme, and by the NIST-CNST/UMD-NanoCenter Cooperative Agreement. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

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Authors

Contributions

F.F. led the pulse-shaping and compression experiments, with assistance from D.E.L., H.M. and J.W. H.M. led device fabrication with the assistance of L.C. Microring design and/or characterization was carried out by F.F., K.S. and L.T.V. The project was organized and coordinated by A.M.W. and H.M. A.M.W., H.M., F.F., D.E.L. and K.S. contributed to the writing.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Houxun Miao or Andrew M. Weiner.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Ferdous, F., Miao, H., Leaird, D. et al. Spectral line-by-line pulse shaping of on-chip microresonator frequency combs. Nature Photon 5, 770–776 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2011.255

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2011.255

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