Generation of an astronomical optical frequency comb in three fibre-based nonlinear stages

J. M. Chavez Boggio*, A. A. Rieznik, M. Zajnulina, M. Böhm, D. Bodenmüller, M. Wysmolek, H. Sayinc, Jörg Neumann, Dietmar Kracht, R. Haynes, M. M. Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The generation of a broadband optical frequency comb with 80 GHz spacing by propagation of a sinusoidal wave through three dispersion-optimized nonlinear stages is numerically investigated. The input power, the dispersion, the nonlinear coefficient, and lengths are optimized for the first two stages for the generation of low-noise ultra-short pulses. The final stage is a low-dispersion highly-nonlinear fibre where the ultra-short pulses undergo self-phase modulation for strong spectral broadening. The modeling is performed using a Generalized Nonlinear Schrodinger Equation incorporating Kerr and Raman nonlinearities, self-steepening, high-order dispersion and gain. In the proposed approach the sinusoidal input field is pre-compressed in the first fibre section. This is shown to be necessary to keep the soliton order below ten to minimize the noise build-up during adiabatic pulse compression, when the pulses are subsequently amplified in the next fibre section (rare-earth-doped-fibre with anomalous dispersion). We demonstrate that there is an optimum balance between dispersion, input power and nonlinearities, in order to have adiabatic pulse compression. It is shown that the intensity noise grows exponentially as the pulses start to be compressed in the amplifying fibre. Eventually, the noise decreases and reaches a minimum when the pulses are maximally compressed. A train of 70 fs pulses with up to 3.45 kW peak power and negligible noise is generated in our simulations, which can be spectrally broadened in a highly-nonlinear fibre. The main drawback of this compression technique is the small fibre length tolerance where noise is negligible (smaller than 10 cm for erbium-doped fibre length of 15 m). We finally investigate how the frequency comb characteristics are modified by incorporating an optical feedback. We show that frequency combs appropriate for calibration of astronomical spectrographs can be improved by using this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84340Y
JournalProceedings of SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2012
EventNonlinear Optics and Applications VI - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 16 Apr 201218 Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Astronomy
  • Four-wave mixing
  • Optical frequency comb
  • pulse compression


Dive into the research topics of 'Generation of an astronomical optical frequency comb in three fibre-based nonlinear stages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this