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Optically referenced broadband electronic synthesizer with 15 digits of resolution



Franklyn J. Quinlan, Tara M. Fortier, A. Rolland, Frederick N. Baynes, A. J. Metcalf, Archita Hati, Andrew D. Ludlow, Nathan M. Hinkley, M. Shimizu, Joe Campbell, Scott A. Diddams


Increasing demands in the high tech industry for higher data rates and better synchronization necessitates the development of new wideband and tunable sources with improved noise performance over traditional synthesis based quartz oscillators. Precision synthesis is paramount for providing frequency references and timing in a broad range of applications including 5G telecommunications, high precision measurement, electronic warfare, and radar and sensing. In this Article we describe a photonic-digital synthesizer based on optical frequency division that enables the generation of widely tunable signals from near DC to 100 GHz with a fractional frequency instability of 1 part in 1015. The spectral purity of the derived signals represents an improvement in close-to-carrier noise performance over the current state- of-the-art of nearly 7 orders of magnitude in the W-band (100GHz), and up to 5 orders of magnitude in the X-band (10 GHz).
Nature Photonics


microwave photonics, optical frequency combs, phase noise, shot noise, ultrafast optics


Quinlan, F. , Fortier, T. , Rolland, A. , Baynes, F. , Metcalf, A. , Hati, A. , Ludlow, A. , Hinkley, N. , Shimizu, M. , Campbell, J. and Diddams, S. (2016), Optically referenced broadband electronic synthesizer with 15 digits of resolution, Nature Photonics, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created September 5, 2016, Updated March 26, 2018