Microresonator-Based Optical Frequency Combs

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Science  29 Apr 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6029, pp. 555-559
DOI: 10.1126/science.1193968

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The series of precisely spaced, sharp spectral lines that form an optical frequency comb is enabling unprecedented measurement capabilities and new applications in a wide range of topics that include precision spectroscopy, atomic clocks, ultracold gases, and molecular fingerprinting. A new optical frequency comb generation principle has emerged that uses parametric frequency conversion in high resonance quality factor (Q) microresonators. This approach provides access to high repetition rates in the range of 10 to 1000 gigahertz through compact, chip-scale integration, permitting an increased number of comb applications, such as in astronomy, microwave photonics, or telecommunications. We review this emerging area and discuss opportunities that it presents for novel technologies as well as for fundamental science.

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