Resonant electro-optic frequency comb

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Rueda A, Sedlmeir F, Kumari M, Leuchs G, Schwefel HGL
Journal: Nature
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 568
Journal issue: 7752
Pages range: 378-381
ISSN: 0028-0836
eISSN: 1476-4687


High-speed optical telecommunication is enabled by wavelength-division multiplexing, whereby hundreds of individually stabilized lasers encode information within a single-mode optical fibre. Higher bandwidths require higher total optical power, but the power sent into the fibre is limited by optical nonlinearities within the fibre, and energy consumption by the light sources starts to become a substantial cost factor
. Optical frequency combs have been suggested to remedy this problem by generating numerous discrete, equidistant laser lines within a monolithic device; however, at present their stability and coherence allow them to operate only within small parameter ranges
. Here we show that a broadband frequency comb realized through the electro-optic effect within a high-quality whispering-gallery-mode resonator can operate at low microwave and optical powers. Unlike the usual third-order Kerr nonlinear optical frequency combs, our combs rely on the second-order nonlinear effect, which is much more efficient. Our result uses a fixed microwave signal that is mixed with an optical-pump signal to generate a coherent frequency comb with a precisely determined carrier separation. The resonant enhancement enables us to work with microwave powers that are three orders of magnitude lower than those in commercially available devices. We emphasize the practical relevance of our results to high rates of data communication. To circumvent the limitations imposed by nonlinear effects in optical communication fibres, one has to solve two problems: to provide a compact and fully integrated, yet high-quality and coherent, frequency comb generator; and to calculate nonlinear signal propagation in real time
. We report a solution to the first problem.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Leuchs, Gerd Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Experimentalphysik (Optik)
Sedlmeir, Florian
Lehrstuhl für Experimentalphysik (Optik)

External institutions with authors

Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies
Max-Planck-Institut für die Physik des Lichts (MPL) / Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

How to cite

Rueda, A., Sedlmeir, F., Kumari, M., Leuchs, G., & Schwefel, H.G.L. (2019). Resonant electro-optic frequency comb. Nature, 568(7752), 378-381.

Rueda, Alfredo, et al. "Resonant electro-optic frequency comb." Nature 568.7752 (2019): 378-381.


Last updated on 2019-28-05 at 14:53