Photonic Generation of High Power, Ultrastable Microwave Signals by Vernier Effect in a Femtosecond Laser Frequency Comb
Optical frequency division of an ultrastable laser to the microwave frequency range by an optical frequency comb has allowed the generation of microwave signals with unprecedently high spectral purity and stability. However, the generated microwave signal will suffer from a very low power level if no external optical frequency comb repetition rate multiplication device is used. This paper reports theoretical and experimental studies on the beneficial use of the Vernier effect together with the spectral selective filtering in a double directional coupler add-drop optical fibre ring resonator to increase the comb repetition rate and generate high power microwaves. The studies are focused on two selective filtering aspects: the high rejection of undesirable optical modes of the frequency comb and the transmission of the desirable modes with the lowest possible loss. Moreover, the conservation of the frequency comb stability and linewidth at the resonator output is particularly considered. Accordingly, a fibre ring resonator is designed, fabricated, and characterized, and a technique to stabilize the resonator's resonance comb is proposed. A significant power gain is achieved for the photonically generated beat note at 10 GHz. Routes to highly improve the performances of such proof-of-concept device are also discussed.