Ghent, Flanders, be
Company: Ghent University - imec
Category: Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations
Published on 2021-06-20 02:11:03

Optical Frequency combs are lasers which produce thousands of equidistant laser lines. The frequency spacing between these lines lies within the radiofrequency band of the electromagnetic spectrum, while the frequency of the laser lines itself lies in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This provides a link between the RF and the optical domain. They act as “spectral rulers” against which unknown optical frequencies can be measured, and they have had a revolutionary impact on numerous fields ranging from the detection of extrasolar planets to precision metrology, winning its inventors a Nobel Prize in 2005. Traditionally, these optical frequency combs have been constructed with the help of ultra-short Titanium Sapphire lasers and fiber lasers. In bulky experimental setups these sources have been used to measure distances with an extreme precision, as a critical tool to make the next generation optical clocks, as a source in attosecond pulse generation experiments, telecom sources for Tbit/s transceivers, ... However, for most of the real-life applications these lasers are not practical, they are too large, too expensive. That is why there has been an enormous interest in the development of on-chip optical frequency combs. Preferably such integrated sources are made using CMOS compatible fabrication processes. Very recently, the Photonics Research Group at Ghent University has shown integrated mode-locked lasers on a silicon chip. These results have been published in Nature Light: Science &

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