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Vernier spectrometer using counterpropagating soliton microcombs

Yang, Qi-Fan and Shen, Boqiang and Wang, Heming and Tran, Minh and Zhang, Zhewei and Yang, Ki Youl and Wu, Lue and Bao, Chengying and Bowers, John and Yariv, Amnon and Vahala, Kerry (2019) Vernier spectrometer using counterpropagating soliton microcombs. Science, 363 (6430). pp. 965-968. ISSN 0036-8075.

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Determination of laser frequency with high resolution under continuous and abrupt tuning conditions is important for sensing, spectroscopy, and communications. We show that a single microresonator provides rapid and broadband measurement of optical frequencies with a relative frequency precision comparable to that of conventional dual-frequency comb systems. Dual-locked counterpropagating solitons having slightly different repetition rates were used to implement a vernier spectrometer, which enabled characterization of laser tuning rates as high as 10 terahertz per second, broadly step-tuned lasers, multiline laser spectra, and molecular absorption lines. Besides providing a considerable technical simplification through the dual-locked solitons and enhanced capability for measurement of arbitrarily tuned sources, our results reveal possibilities for chip-scale spectrometers that exceed the performance of tabletop grating and interferometer-based devices.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Materials Paper
Yang, Qi-Fan0000-0002-7036-1712
Shen, Boqiang0000-0003-0697-508X
Wang, Heming0000-0003-3861-0624
Tran, Minh0000-0002-2195-6381
Yang, Ki Youl0000-0002-0587-3201
Wu, Lue0000-0002-7503-7057
Bowers, John0000-0003-4270-8296
Vahala, Kerry0000-0003-1783-1380
Alternate Title:Vernier spectrometer using counter-propagating soliton microcombs
Additional Information:© 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 30 November 2018; accepted 7 February 2019. Published online 21 February 2019. Funding: Supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the SCOUT (W911NF-16-1-0548) and DODOS (HR0011-15-C-055) programs, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-18-1-0353), and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. Author contributions: Experiments were conceived by Q.-F.Y., B.S., H.W., and K.V. Analysis of results was conducted by Q.-F.Y., B.S., H.W., and K.V. Measurements were performed by Q.-F.Y., B.S., and H.W. with assistance from M.T., Z.Z., L.W., and C.B. Silica resonators were fabricated by K.Y.Y. Test lasers and their setup were provided by M.T., Z.Z., J.B., and A.Y. All authors participated in writing the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Data and materials availability: The datasets are available through Zenodo at
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-16-1-0548
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)HR0011-15-C-055
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-18-1-0353
Kavli Nanoscience InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6430
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190222-071817794
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Vernier spectrometer using counterpropagating soliton microcombs. BY QI-FAN YANG, BOQIANG SHEN, HEMING WANG, MINH TRAN, ZHEWEI ZHANG, KI YOUL YANG, LUE WU, CHENGYING BAO, JOHN BOWERS, AMNON YARIV, KERRY VAHALA. SCIENCE 01 MAR 2019: 965-968. DOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.AAW2317
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93174
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 17:24
Last Modified:18 Dec 2019 23:47

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