2 May 2014 Time-resolved reconstruction of dynamical pulse trains using multiheterodyne detection
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Abstract
A technique has been developed for the measurement of pulse trains demonstrating a dynamical behaviour (i.e. not ideally periodic). Existing techniques in this area (e.g. FROG, SPIDER or other heterodyne methods) require very stable pulse trains, or large averaging times, and so are limited when applied to even slowly varying pulse trains. The technique presented involves mixing the comb under test (CUT) with a reference optical frequency comb (OFC) which has a known spectral intensity profile. Mixing these signals on a photodiode results in a series of radio frequency (RF) beat tones. The phase properties of these beat tones can be used to measure the spectral phase between adjacent modes in the CUT, allowing the full complex spectrum of the CUT to be measured simultaneously with one single real time oscilloscope acquisition. With the spectral properties of the comb known, the pulse train can be reconstructed in the temporal domain. By applying this technique to very small sections of the beating signal ( tens of nanoseconds), a time resolved picture of the pulse train behaviour can be obtained. Dynamic signals generated in a LiNbO3 modulator driven by a modulated RF signal have been measured. This technique is well suited to studying the combs produced by mode-locked semiconductor lasers. Quantum dot mode-locked laser combs can be characterised, and pulse train instabilities measured.
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T. Butler, B. Tykalewicz, D. Goulding, B. Kelleher, Guillaume Huyet, S. P. Hegarty, "Time-resolved reconstruction of dynamical pulse trains using multiheterodyne detection", Proc. SPIE 9134, Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics VI, 91341D (2 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052386; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052386
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