Frequency comb metrology with an optical parametric oscillator

Karolis Balskus, S. Schilt, V. J. Wittwer, P. Brochard, T. Ploetzing, N. Jornod, Richard Alexander McCracken, Zhaowei Zhang, A. Bartels, Derryck Telford Reid, T. Südmeyer

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We report on the first demonstration of absolute frequency comb
metrology with an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) frequency comb. The
synchronously-pumped OPO operated in the 1.5-μm spectral region and
was referenced to an H-maser atomic clock. Using different techniques, we
thoroughly characterized the frequency noise power spectral density (PSD)
of the repetition rate frep, of the carrier-envelope offset frequency fCEO, and
of an optical comb line νN. The comb mode optical linewidth at 1557 nm
was determined to be ~70 kHz for an observation time of 1 s from the
measured frequency noise PSD, and was limited by the stability of the
microwave frequency standard available for the stabilization of the comb
repetition rate. We achieved a tight lock of the carrier envelope offset
frequency with only ~300 mrad residual integrated phase noise, which
makes its contribution to the optical linewidth negligible. The OPO comb
was used to measure the absolute optical frequency of a near-infrared laser
whose second-harmonic component was locked to the F = 2→3 transition
of the 87Rb D2 line at 780 nm, leading to a measured transition frequency of
νRb = 384,228,115,346 ± 16 kHz. We performed the same measurement
with a commercial fiber-laser comb operating in the 1.5-μm region. Both
the OPO comb and the commercial fiber comb achieved similar
performance. The measurement accuracy was
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8370-8381
JournalOptics Express
Issue number8
Early online date8 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2016


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