SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION: Excess carrier-envelope phase noise generation in saturable absorbers

Excess carrier-envelope phase noise generation in saturable absorbers

N. Raabe, T. Feng, M. Mero, H. Tian, Y. Song, W. Hänsel, R. Holzwarth, A. Sell, A. Zach, & G. Steinmeyer

Attosecond spectroscopy and precision frequency metrology depend on the stabilization of the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of mode-locked lasers. Unfortunately, the phase of only a few types of lasers can be stabilized to jitters in the few-hundred millirad range. In a comparative experimental study, we analyze a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser and three mode-locked fiber lasers. We numerically demodulate recorded time series of the free-running carrier-envelope beat note. Our analysis indicates a correlation between amplitude and frequency fluctuations at low Fourier frequencies for essentially all lasers investigated. While this correlation typically rolls off at frequencies beyond 100 kHz, we see clear indications for a broadband coupling mechanism in one of the fiber lasers. We suspect that the observed coupling mechanism acts to transfer intracavity power fluctuations into excess phase noise. This coupling mechanism is related to the mode-locking mechanism employed and not to the gain medium itself. We further verify this hypothesis by numerical simulations, which identify resonances of the saturable absorber mirror as a possible explanation for the coupling mechanism. Finally, we discuss how to avoid a detrimental influence of such resonances.

Optics Letters Vol. 42, p. 1068 (2017)