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Exceeding octave tunable Terahertz waves with zepto-second level timing noise

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posted on 2023-01-12, 15:52 authored by Rubab Amin, James Greenberg, Brendan Heffernan, Tadao Nagatsuma, Antoine Rolland
Spectral purity of any millimeter wave (mmW) source is of the utmost interest in low-noise applications. Optical synthesis via photomixing is an attractive source for such mmWs, which usually involves expensive spectrally pure lasers with narrow linewidths approaching monochromaticity due to their inherent fabrication costs or specifications. Here, we report an alternative option for enhancing the spectral purity of inexpensive semiconductor diode lasers via a self-injection locking technique through corresponding Stokes waves from a fiber Brillouin cavity exhibiting greatly improved phase noise levels and large wavelength tunability of ~1.8 nm. We implement a system with two self-injected diode lasers on a common Brillouin cavity aimed at difference frequency generation in the mmW and THz region. We generate tunable sub-mmW (0.3 and 0.5 THz) waves by beating the self-injected two wavelength Stokes light on a uni-travelling carrier photodiode and characterize the noise performance. The sub-mmW features miniscule timing noise levels in the zepto-second (zs.Hz^-0.5) scale outperforming the state of the art dissipative Kerr soliton based micro-resonator setups while offering broader frequency tunability. These results suggest a viable inexpensive alternative for mmW sources aimed at low-noise applications featuring lab-scale footprints and rack-mounted portability while paving the way for chip-scale photonic integration.

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