Photonic GHz to THz tunable signal generation by chirped-pulse mixing
Paper in proceedings, 2006
Frequency-tunable generation of pulsed tones in the millimeter to sub-millimeter range was demonstrated by mixing of two chromatically dispersing femtosecond laser pulses split up in time by an adjustable differential group delay (DGD) and a polarizer. The signal frequency was set by adjusting the amount of DGD and the amount of dispersion, and was here tuned from below 1 GHz to 0.9 THz. Time-domain measurements were conducted using a sampling oscilloscope for the lower frequencies and an auto-correlator for the higher frequencies. Near 100% modulation depth was obtained, and the signal phase was very stable, being locked to the pulses from the femtosecond laser. The line-width of the mm-wave waveform was found to be transform-limited if the signal chirp induced by higher order dispersion was compensated for. Suggested applications for this system are for instance THz spectroscopy, characterization of high performance photo-diodes and real-time dispersion measurements.