University of Colorado Boulder Background
Dual-comb technology revolutionized spectroscopy and continues to grow in applications. Many different optical sources exist; however, single-cavity fiber dual combs have been a stand out in the field for low cost, high compactness, and environmental robustness. Bi-direction operation of the single-cavity dual combs have been shown to minimize inter-comb interactions and maximize spectral overlapping simultaneously. Yet, the current bi-directional mode-locked lasers are based on saturable absorbers that have a slow response time and low damage threshold and are unsuitable for high-power ultrashort pulse generation.
This invention from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder is the first bidirectional all-normal dispersion (ANDi) mode-locked fiber laser based on nonlinear polarization rotation (NPR). The bidirectional ANDi fiber lasers are most suitable for nonlinear spectroscopic applications due to their higher pulse energy, broader spectral bandwidth, and flat top spectral shape. This laser can generate dissipative solitons in both directions with a spectral bandwidth over 5 THz and pulse energies over 10 nJ. The repetition rate difference between the two directions is tunable between 10’s of Hz and 100’s of Hz, and it stably maintains over days against environmental perturbation under free running condition. The laser is a compact and reliable fiber source that benefits various dual-comb applications especially in nonlinear regime.
Stage of Development
Proof of concept
Compact, low cost and environmentally stable
Wide spectra which are flat (<2dB fluctuation) over 5 THz and pulse energy larger than 10 nJ in both directions Tunable and stable repetition-rate difference that is ideal for dual-comb techniques Applications Pump-probe measurement FTIR spectroscopy Dual-comb spectroscopy Mid-infrared/THz dual-comb generation Spectral-encoded confocal microscopy and multiphoton microscopy Optical Coherence Tomography Optical Gyroscope Laser Ranging Opportunity Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licensing. CU5138B