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ECE Prof. Larry Coldren’s recent research achievements published in OSA’s Optics Express and featured as a Research Highlight in Nature Photonics

March 8th, 2017

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Coldren and his Optoelectronics Technology Center (OTC) as well as other research teams recognized for accomplishments related to “on-chip optical frequency synthesis”

Since the first demonstration in 2000, optical frequency synthesis using self-referenced optical combs have emerged worldwide for novel civilian and defense applications. Due to the large size, relative fragility, and high cost of these components and systems, however, precise optical frequency synthesis so far has been limited to lab-scale experiments. The paper in OSA’s Optics Express reports on the experimental demonstration of an agile chip-scale optical frequency synthesizer (OFS) achieved by phase-locking an on-chip widely tunable semiconductor lasers to spectrally pure optical frequency comb. New generations of optical frequency control technology could enable a wide range of applications in optical spectroscopy, gas sensing, LIDAR, portable atomic clocks, high-bandwidth and secure communications, and intrusion detection, among other areas.

The reported work is a major step towards demonstration of the true chip-scale optical frequency synthesizer with programmable <1 Hz frequency resolution, <1 cm3 volume, and <1 W electrical power consumption.  Such a system can be utilized in various microwave photonics applications, which will appeal to a broad audience both within the photonics community as well as outside.

OSA’s Optics Express is an all-electronic, open access journal for optics providing rapid publication for peer-reviewed articles that emphasize scientific and technology innovations in all aspects of optics and photonics. Nature Photonics is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group. The journal covers research related to optoelectronics, laser science, and other aspects of photonics. Nature Photonics publishes review articles, research papers, News and Views pieces, and research highlights summarizing the latest scientific findings in optoelectronics.

Larry A. Coldren is the Fred Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors at UCSB. After receiving his Ph.D. in EE from Stanford and 13 years at Bell Laboratories, he joined UCSB in 1984 where he holds appointments in the ECE and Materials and ECE. He has authored or co-authored over a thousand journal and conference papers, a number of book chapters, two textbooks, and has been issued 65 patents. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, OSA, and a recipient of the 2004 John Tyndall, 2009 Aron Kressel, and 2014 David Sarnoff Awards, as well as being a member of NAI and NAE.

“Towards chip-scale optical frequency synthesis based on optical heterodyne phase-locked loop” (Optics Express)

Chip-scale frequency synthesizer (Nature Photonics – Research Highlights)

Coldren Group