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A six-octave optical frequency comb from a scalable few-cycle Erbium fiber laser



Daniel Lesko, Henry R. Timmers, Sida Xing, Abijith S. Kowligy, Alexander Lind, Scott Diddams


A coherent, compact and robust light source with coverage from the ultraviolet to the infrared is desirable for heterodyne super-resolution imaging1, broadband infrared microscopy2, protein structure determination3 and standoff trace-gas detection4. To address these demanding problems, frequency combs5 combine absolute frequency accuracy with sub-femtosecond timing and waveform control to enable high-resolution, high-speed and broadband spectroscopy6,7,8,9. Here we demonstrate a scalable source of near-single-cycle pulses from robust and low-noise erbium fibre (Er:fibre) technology. With a peak power of 0.56 MW we generate a comb spanning six octaves, from the ultraviolet (350 nm) to the mid-infrared (22,500 nm), achieving a resolving power of 1010 across 0.86 PHz of bandwidth. Second-order nonlinearities in LiNbO3, GaSe and CdSiP2 provide phase-stable infrared ultrashort pulses with simultaneous brightness exceeding a synchrotron10, while cascaded nonlinearities in LiNbO3 yield four octaves simultaneously (0.350–5.6 μm). We anticipate that these advances will be enabling for basic and applied spectroscopy, microscopy and phase-sensitive nonlinear optics.
Nature Photonics


Few-cycle pulses, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Frequency combs, Nonlinear Optics, UV frequency combs


Lesko, D. , Timmers, H. , Xing, S. , Kowligy, A. , Lind, A. and Diddams, S. (2021), A six-octave optical frequency comb from a scalable few-cycle Erbium fiber laser, Nature Photonics, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created March 11, 2021, Updated March 25, 2024