SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION: Mid-infrared frequency combs
Mid-infrared frequency combs
A. Schliesser, N. Picqué, & T. W. Hänsch
Laser frequency combs are coherent light sources that emit a broad spectrum of discrete, evenly spaced narrow lines whose absolute frequency can be measured to within the accuracy of an atomic clock. Their development in the near-infrared and visible domains has revolutionized frequency metrology while also providing numerous unexpected opportunities in other fields such as astronomy and attosecond science. Researchers are now exploring how to extend frequency comb techniques to the mid-infrared spectral region. Versatile mid-infrared frequency comb generators based on novel laser gain media, nonlinear frequency conversion or microresonators promise to significantly expand the applications of frequency combs. In particular, novel approaches to molecular spectroscopy in the ‘fingerprint region’, with dramatically improved precision, sensitivity, recording time and/or spectral bandwidth may lead to new discoveries in the various fields relevant to molecular science.