Scientific Results

Intrinsic linewidth of quantum cascade laser frequency combs

Year: 2015

Authors: Cappelli F., Villares G., Riedi S., Faist J.

Autors Affiliation: Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zurich, Zürich, 8093, Switzerland; CNR-INO, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo Enrico Fermi 6, Firenze, FI 50125, Italy; LENS, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Via Nello Carrara 1, Sesto Fiorentino, FI 50019, Italy

Abstract: Optical frequency combs based on quantum cascade lasers have recently been demonstrated in the mid- and far-infrared spectral regions, opening the possibility for broadband, compact spectrometers. The successful operation of these systems will depend on understanding the frequency noise of these lasers, whose mode-locking dynamics leads to an almost constant optical power rather than pulse generation. We demonstrate that the four-wave mixing process— responsible for comb formation—effectively correlates the quantum frequency noise of the individual comb modes. The plateau observed in the high-frequency portion of the noise spectrum is attributed to the quantum noise limit. This result proves that four-wave mixing introduces no additional frequency noise, showing that quantum cascade laser combs are well suited for high-resolution spectroscopy applications.

Journal/Review: OPTICA

Volume: 2 (10)      Pages from: 836  to: 840

KeyWords: Four wave mixing; Infrared lasers; Laser mode locking; Locks (fasteners); Quantum cascade lasers; Quantum noise; Spectrometers; Spectroscopic analysis, Four-wave-mixing process; High frequency HF; High-resolution spectroscopy; Infrared and far-infrared lasers; Lasers and laser optics; Optical frequency combs; Quantum cascades; Quantum noise limit, Semiconductor lasers
DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000836

Citations: 20
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