After the first demonstration of an optical frequency comb based on a mode-locked laser in 1999, Ti:sapphire lasers with repetition rates around 1 GHz were the sources of choice for scientists around the world. Their key feature was a mode spacing 10 times higher than that of comparable 100 MHz sources (simplifying mode identification) and the ability to generate a fully coherent super-continuum with 100 times more power per mode either directly from the cavity or using an external microstructured fibre (enhancing signal-to-noise ratio). The world’s first optical atomic clock was built in 2001 using a 1 GHz Ti:sapphire laser and subsequently it has been shown that these lasers indeed support an accuracy at the 10–20 level with a 1 s stability at the 10–17 level and optical linewidths at the millihertz level, i.e. ideal candidate clockworks for a new generation of optical atomic clocks. The Ti:sapphire technology has even been taken out to as far as 10 GHz, a regime where individual modes with powers in excess of 1 mW can be separated with a grating spectrometer and used individually for direct spectroscopy, spectrograph calibration or optical arbitrary waveform generation.
To overcome some of the disadvantages of early Ti:sapphire lasers (requirement for frequent alignment, cleaning and use of AO modulators for control purposes) and to make the full advantages of GHz frequency comb technology accessible to the science community, Laser Quantum has developed the hermetically sealed and permanently aligned taccor 1 GHz Ti:sapphire laser featuring an integrated pump laser with direct pump power control. This intervention free laser forms the basis for the new taccor comb system featuring an f-2f interferometer and full comb-stabilization electronics.
Date: Wednesday 3 May 2017
Time: 4 p.m. CEST / 3 p.m. BST
Presenter: Dr Albrecht Bartels, managing director of Laser Quantum
Moderator: Margaret Harris, industry editor of Physics World