Relative timing jitter measurements with an indirect phase comparison method
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- Paschotta, R., Rudin, B., Schlatter, A. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2005) 80: 185. doi:10.1007/s00340-004-1704-2
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We propose and demonstrate experimentally a method for the sensitive measurement of the relative timing jitter of two mode-locked lasers, which can be either free-running or timing-synchronized to a common reference oscillator. The method is based on the indirect comparison of the phases of two photodetector outputs, using a microwave oscillator, the noise of which does not affect the results, electronic mixers, and a sampling oscilloscope. We carefully analyze and experimentally demonstrate the potential of this method. Compared to phase detector methods, it has a broader scope of applications and a lower sensitivity to intensity noise. We also obtained data on the coupling of intensity to timing noise in photodetectors.