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Published June 12, 2023 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

High-speed tunable microwave-rate soliton microcomb


Soliton microcombs are a promising new approach for photonic-based microwave signal synthesis. To date, however, the tuning rate has been limited in microcombs. Here, we demonstrate the first microwave-rate soliton microcomb whose repetition rate can be tuned at a high speed. By integrating an electro-optic modulation element into a lithium niobate comb microresonator, a modulation bandwidth up to 75 MHz and a continuous frequency modulation rate up to 5.0 × 10¹⁴ Hz/s are achieved, several orders-of-magnitude faster than existing microcomb technology. The device offers a significant bandwidth of up to tens of gigahertz for locking the repetition rate to an external microwave reference, enabling both direct injection locking and feedback locking to the comb resonator itself without involving external modulation. These features are especially useful for disciplining an optical voltage-controlled oscillator to a long-term reference and the demonstrated fast repetition rate control is expected to have a profound impact on all applications of frequency combs.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. We thank Qingxi Ji at Caltech for helpful discussions on RF feedback-locking experiments. This work is supported in part by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (grant No. HDTRA11810047), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) LUMOS program under Agreement No. HR001-20-2-0044, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) (ECCS-1810169, ECCS-1842691 and, OMA-2138174). This work was performed in part at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (National Science Foundation, ECCS-1542081); and at the Cornell Center for Materials Research (National Science Foundation, Grant No. DMR-1719875). The project or effort depicted was or is sponsored by the Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the federal government, and no official endorsement should be inferred. These authors contributed equally: Yang He, Raymond Lopez-Rios. Contributions. Y.H. designed and fabricated the sample. Y.H. designed and performed the experiments. Y.H., R.L.-R., and U.A.J. did the numerical simulations. Y.H. and R.L.-R. analyzed the data. U.A.J., J.L., R.L.-R., and M.L. assisted in the experiments. S.X. assisted in device fabrication. Y.H., R.L.-R., K.V., and Q.L. wrote the manuscript. K.V. and Q.L. supervised the project. Q.L. conceived the device concept. Data availability. All data are available in the main text or the supplementary materials. The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplemental Material - 41467_2023_39229_MOESM1_ESM.pdf


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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023