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Precision Photonic Synthesis Group

The Precision Photonic Synthesis Group conducts cutting-edge research and development of femtosecond laser frequency combs and frequency-stable lasers, allowing for extremely accurate measurements of optical frequencies, coherent frequency synthesis from the optical to the rf, microwave, and millimeter-wave domains, as well as optical spectroscopy with unprecedented precision.

We develop laser frequency combs to connect stable optical frequencies to each other and to microwave sources with an imprecision below 1 part in 1019. These state-of-the-art frequency combs are also developed for other important applications, including ultra-low noise microwave generation, chip-scale sensors, mid-IR molecular spectroscopy, user-defined optical waveform generation, and calibration of astronomical spectrographs for searches for exo-planets. We also develop photonic links to superconducting circuit platforms, bringing the bandwidth and exquisite timing of optical systems to quantum information systems and quantum-based voltage standards.

Projects and Programs

Cryogenic Photonic Interconnects

We develop electro-optical systems for photonic generation and delivery of micro- and millimeter-wave signals to superconducting circuit platforms.

Frequency Comb Spectroscopy

We use frequency combs based on ultrafast mode-locked lasers to perform precision spectroscopy in the near- and mid-infrared domains, for rapid, high

News and Updates

Spotlight: Astro-Etalon

A small role can make an astronomical impact, as is the case for a tiny NIST-built piece of a new planet-hunting project from NASA and the National Science

Major Accomplishments

  • Developed stable optical reference cavities with volume < 10 mL for mobile optical clocks
  • Used one of our compact cavity systems for submarine cable monitoring, demonstrating improved sensitivity


Group Leader

Project Leader