, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 265-273
Date: 03 Dec 2005

Optical phase noise and carrier-envelope offset noise of mode-locked lasers

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Abstract

The timing jitter, optical phase noise, and carrier-envelope offset (CEO) noise of passively mode-locked lasers are closely related. New key results concern analytical calculations of the quantum noise limits for optical phase noise and CEO noise. Earlier results for the optical phase noise of actively mode-locked lasers are generalized, particularly for application to passively mode-locked lasers. It is found, for example, that mode locking with slow absorbers can lead to optical linewidths far above the Schawlow–Townes limit. Furthermore, mode-locked lasers can at the same time have nearly quantum-limited timing jitter and a strong optical excess phase noise. A feedback timing stabilization via cavity length control can, depending on the situation, reduce or greatly increase the optical phase noise, while not affecting the CEO noise. Besides presenting such findings, the paper also tries to clarify some basic aspects of phase noise in mode-locked lasers.

PACS

42.50.Lc; 42.60.Fc