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Published July 18, 2014 | public
Journal Article

Electro-optical frequency division and stable microwave synthesis


Optical frequency division using frequency combs has revolutionized time keeping and the generation of stable microwave signals. We demonstrate optical frequency division and microwave generation by using a tunable electrical oscillator to create dual combs through phase modulation of two optical signals having a stable difference frequency. Phase-locked control of the electrical oscillator by optical frequency division produces stable microwaves. Our approach transposes the oscillator and frequency reference of a conventional microwave frequency synthesizer. In this way, the oscillator experiences large phase noise reduction relative to the frequency reference. The electro-optical approach additionally relaxes the need for highly-linear photodetection of the comb mode spacing. Besides simplicity, the technique is also tunable and scalable to higher division ratios.

Additional Information

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 4 March 2014. Accepted for publication 5 June 2014. Published Online June 19 2014. This work was sponsored by the DARPA ORCHID and PULSE programs and the Caltech IQIM. The authors also acknowledge support from the Kavli NanoScience Institute at Caltech. S.A.D acknowledges the support from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as a Moore Scholar at Caltech.

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