A low-phase-noise 18 GHz Kerr frequency microcomb phase-locked over 65 THz

Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 27;5:13355. doi: 10.1038/srep13355.


Laser frequency combs are coherent light sources that simultaneously provide pristine frequency spacings for precision metrology and the fundamental basis for ultrafast and attosecond sciences. Recently, nonlinear parametric conversion in high-Q microresonators has been suggested as an alternative platform for optical frequency combs, though almost all in 100 GHz frequencies or more. Here we report a low-phase-noise on-chip Kerr frequency comb with mode spacing compatible with high-speed silicon optoelectronics. The waveguide cross-section of the silicon nitride spiral resonator is designed to possess small and flattened group velocity dispersion, so that the Kerr frequency comb contains a record-high number of 3,600 phase-locked comb lines. We study the single-sideband phase noise as well as the long-term frequency stability and report the lowest phase noise floor achieved to date with -130 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset for the 18 GHz Kerr comb oscillator, along with feedback stabilization to achieve frequency Allan deviations of 7 × 10(-11) in 1 s. The reported system is a promising compact platform for achieving self-referenced Kerr frequency combs and also for high-capacity coherent communication architectures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.